Rishi Sunak’s favourability drops to new low following spring statement

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
March 25, 2022, 10:34 AM GMT+0

The Ukrainian refugee crisis also appears to have cost Priti Patel, as her net favourability sinks further still

Despite an optimistic display at the despatch box, Rishi Sunak’s policies announced in the spring statement earlier this week have been widely criticised in the press – as well as by some Tory MPs. New YouGov polling shows that his standing with the public has taken a hit as well, reaching a new low point following the statement.

Half of Britons (51%) now hold a negative view of the chancellor, versus 36% who see him in a positive light. This gives him a net score of -15, his lowest to date, down 10 points from just before the Spring Statement when his net favourability stood at -5 (22-23 March).

While Sunak does retain a positive net score among Conservative voters (+29), this has fallen 12 points from +41 in the previous survey. The Chancellor is unsurprisingly seen negatively by Labour voters (-53, down from -45 in the previous survey).

Also faring badly is the home secretary. Priti Patel has been deeply unpopular historically, but now poor reception to her handling of the Ukrainian refugee situation has seen her favourability also slump to new lows. The latest two rounds of polling show a sustained drop in public standing for Patel. As of 22-23 March, her favourability stood at a net score of -60, and then -59 in the most recent survey.  This is compared to a net score of -49 from 1-2 March before the refugee crisis in Eastern Europe began to worsen – a drop of 11 points.

Patel is even seen unfavourably by her own party’s supporters, with a net score of -35 among 2019 Conservative voters.

Elsewhere, other senior politicians also see favourability scores slip, albeit not so dramatically. Boris Johnson now holds a net score of -34 (Down 5 points from the previous survey on 22-23 March), with 30% of people holding a positive view and 64% thinking negatively of the prime minister. His Labour counterpart Keir Starmer fares only somewhat better: 33% see the leader of the opposition positively and 54% see him negatively, for a net score of -21 (Also down 5 points from the previous poll).

Foreign secretary Liz Truss holds a net score of -29 (down from -26 in the previous survey), while defence secretary Ben Wallace stands at -9 (from -12 previously) – however, six in ten respondents (63%) say they do not know enough to have an opinion of him.

See full results here