Britons would be more upset by a 2024 Sunak win than they would have been by a 2019 Corbyn triumph

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
May 26, 2024, 8:09 AM GMT+0

Six in ten Britons would be unhappy to see the Conservatives re-enter Downing Street

A core principle for any politician is to not upset the general public. But what about when keeping your job is what will upset them?

This is the mountain that Rishi Sunak has to climb as he attempts to convince the public to hand his party a fifth consecutive election victory after 14 years of Tory rule.

For most Britons, this is an unappealing prospect. Around six in ten say they would be unhappy if the Conservatives won another majority (59%) or formed the government in a hung Parliament (62%) – with around four in ten (37-41%) saying they would be actively “dismayed” by this outcome.

Only 9-15% would be pleased in either scenario, while 15-18% say they wouldn’t mind.

Even among those voters who delivered a Conservative victory in 2019, only 38% would be happy to see the party re-elected once again.

Such is the Conservative party’s current unpopularity that they are an even less appealing prospect to the public than Jeremy Corbyn was in 2019. Back then, 52% of Britons said they would be disappointed or dismayed by a Labour majority with Corbyn as prime minister.

While the current voting intention polls show Labour with a handsome lead, the public don’t seem especially enthusiastic about a Labour victory. Only a third (34%) of Britons say they would be delighted or pleased to see Keir Starmer gain a majority, with an opposing 35% saying they would be displeased. Another 17% say they wouldn’t mind this outcome.

See the 2024 results here and the 2019 results here

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Photo: Getty