General election 2024: Rishi Sunak’s 'unfavourable' rating at highest ever

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
June 13, 2024, 3:44 PM GMT+0

Keir Starmer now has highest 'favourable' rating since late 2022

Having briefly experienced a marginal improvement in his personal ratings immediately after calling the general election, Rishi Sunak is now experiencing the highest level of disapproval that YouGov has recorded during his tenure.

A record high of 72% of Britons say they have an unfavourable opinion of the prime minister, compared to only 21% who say they have a favourable view. This gives a net approval figure of -51, the joint lowest Sunak has experienced to date (having previously scored this poorly in mid-May and also mid-January).

Attitudes towards the Conservative party are just as bad – 70% have a negative view of the Tories in general compared to only 21% with a positive view.

Meanwhile, the number of Britons with a positive view of Keir Starmer is the highest it has been since late 2022, with 39% of the public feeling favourably towards the Labour leader. Nevertheless, 51% still have an unfavourable view, giving an overall net score of -12.

Attitudes towards the Labour party are more closely divided, with 44% having a positive view of Britain’s main left wing party while 47% have a negative view.

Elsewhere, the Liberal Democrats are marginally more popular than they were before the election was called, with 37% having a positive view compared to 33% in mid-May; on both occasions 47% had a negative view of the party. Nevertheless, this is the best score for the Liberal Democrats this parliament (although we should note that we have only tracked the party’s popularity on a few occasions)

The Greens perform slightly better, with 41% having a favourable opinion towards them and 40% an unfavourable one – this is generally consistent with the party’s performance historically.

Reform UK have also become seen the number of people with a positive opinion of them increase since the election was called, albeit from a low base. In mid-May 20% of Britons said they had a favourable view of the party; that figure is now 27%. Most people (56%) have a negative view of Reform UK, however – a figure that has also increased since before the election (from 48%).

From our disparate selection of other politicians, deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner proves to come second in terms of popularity (30%), followed by Nigel Farage (29%).

Other Labour politicians prove to be largely unknown to the public, with 51% of Britons answering “don’t know” when asked what they think of shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, rising to 64% for shadow health secretary Wes Streeting.

Potential Tory leadership successor Penny Mordaunt has the highest favourable figure on the list of Conservative politicians, at 23% – within the margin of error of Rishi Sunak’s own score, although far fewer people have a negative view of Mordaunt (42%). Another potential contender, Suella Braverman, is much less popular (16% have a positive view and 58% a negative view), while Kemi Badenoch is largely unfamiliar to the public (56% don’t know what they think about her).

See the full results here

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Photo: Getty