The government is tired, and led by events, say public

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
September 04, 2023, 12:05 PM GMT+0

More than eight in ten Britons say the government seems tired

These questions were asked as part of our ‘Daily Agenda’ topical questions, which normally feature every day on the website. Due to a technical error, the results were not displayed on 15 August, and so are provided below.

It’s been 13 years and five prime ministers since the Conservatives entered Downing Street in 2010, and there is a strong sense among the public that the government has run out of steam.

Fully 84% of Britons say the government seems tired, including 49% who see it as “very tired”. Almost eight in ten Conservative voters see the government as tired (78%), as do 90% of Labour voters.

Just 8% of Britons consider the government to be energetic.

Harold Macmillan once said the greatest challenge for a statesman was “events, dear boy, events”. On this measure too, the government seems to be struggling, with Rishi Sunak appearing to row back on pledges he made at the beginning of the year.

Almost nine in ten Britons (88%) say the government seems like it is led by events, with just 6% saying that it leads events. Again, Conservative voters tend to agree with the wider public: 86% say the government seems to be led by events, with 91% of Labour voters saying the same.

While it may be possible that no government can get effectively on top of events, the sense of drift that envelopes the public view of the government will be worrying to Rishi Sunak as he ponders when to call the forthcoming general election.

See the full results here

Photo: Getty

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