Third of Britons believe they’d be a better PM than Johnson

Abigail Axe-BrownePolitical Research Executive
December 11, 2019, 3:34 PM UTC

Margaret Thatcher is the only PM that the public think they’d do a worse job than

The latest YouGov data shows that a third (33%) of Britons believe they could do a better job than Boris Johnson has so far as Prime Minister. Less than a quarter (23%) admit that they wouldn’t be able to perform as well.

Young people are the most likely by far to have more confidence in themselves than the current PM. Some 43% of 18 to 24 year olds believe they’d do a better job, compared to just 26% of those aged 65 and over.

This is perhaps reflective of the way general opinion of Johnson changes through age groups: recent tracker data shows that 19% of under 25s said Johnson would make the best PM, compared to 60% amongst the over 65s. There’s no notable difference in opinions between men and women.

As for political breakdowns, results are as expected. Half of those who voted Remain in 2016 consider themselves better equipped to take on the job (49%) compared to 21% of Leave voters. Likewise, Labour and Liberal Democrat voters are much more likely to think they could do a better job themselves (51% and 59%, respectively) than Conservative voters (15%).

When comparing themselves to previous Prime Ministers, Brits are particularly scathing of more recent PMs. More than a third (39%) say they'd have done a better job than Theresa May, while just 18% say they’d perform worse. For David Cameron, 40% think they could have performed better, and 16% worse.

The public also don’t rate the last two Labour PMs particularly highly, with 37% and 35% thinking they'd have done better than Gordon Brown and Tony Blair respectively.

In fact, Margaret Thatcher is the only Prime Minister we asked about that more Brits believe they would do a worse job than: 31% think they'd have done a worse job, compared to 27% who say the opposite.

Looking at gender, opinions amongst women are fairly consistent across all the previous leaders we tested. Men, on the other hand, vary quite considerably depending on which PM we asked them about.  

Half of men believe they could have done a better job than Theresa May (47%) while only 18% say worse. Similarly, by 43% to 19% they think they could do a better job than Gordon Brown. Looking at Margaret Thatcher, however, marginally more men say they’d have done a worse than a better job (36% to 31%).

Photo: Getty

See the full results here