Starmer overtakes Johnson in ‘who would make the best Prime Minister?’ metric for first time

33% of the public say that Keir Starmer would make the best Prime Minister, compared to 31% who say the same for Boris Johnson.

Keir Starmer

Labour leader Keir Starmer has overtaken Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in the ‘who would make the best Prime Minister?’ metric for the first time, according to the latest data from Savanta ComRes’ political tracker.

The tracker, running since May 2020, shows 33% of the public saying that Keir Starmer would make the best Prime Minister, compared to 31% who say the same for Boris Johnson. The proportion saying that Boris Johnson would make the best Prime Minister has dropped 8pts in the last month, and 17pts from his best ever score in May 2021.

It comes after Tory corruption and sleaze scandals as well as allegations of Downing Street staff and the PM himself breaking Covid restrictions last year.

Starmer’s score of 33% is a 3pt rise from last month, and is his second highest ever rating in the Best PM metric, only behind the 35% he received in September 2020.

The poll by Savanta ComRes also find that at -27, both Boris Johnson and the government’s net favourability are at their lowest ever levels, dropping 13pts and 11pts respectively since the last political tracker poll in November.

Commenting on the findings, Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes said: “The winter of discontent goes on for Boris Johnson and the Conservatives. I make this the nineteenth consecutive poll lead for Labour among all pollsters, and we haven’t seen that number of consistent poll leads for years – even when Labour were regularly in the lead in the middle of 2019, there was always the odd level-pegging poll to break things up a bit.

“However, voting intention aside, analysts always look at other metrics to give a more nuanced assessment of which way the country may vote, and the fact that Boris Johnson has relinquished his Best PM lead for the first time in our tracker probably says more than consecutive Labour leads.

“But the fact remains that Conservative voters are not switching directly to Labour, and the opposition still need to do far more to convince voters that they have a credible alternative to the Johnson administration. And while Johnson’s position in his own party looks increasingly fragile, a new Conservative leader could be a nightmare for Labour, leaving them walking a strange tightrope whereby helping Johnson stay afloat could boost their long-term electoral prospects.

“If Starmer’s long game is waiting for the right moment to really twist the knife into the government, perhaps leaving it a little while longer is a better play than many are giving him credit for.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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