A survey by pollster Ipsos, 47 per cent of respondents said they liked the prime minister, while his party, the Conservative Party, was liked by just 26 percent.
Rishi Sunak has been Britain’s prime minister for a month. In the tumultuous world of UK politics in 2022, that’s an achievement.
Sunak, who took office a month ago on 25 October, has steadied the nation after the brief term of predecessor Liz Truss. Britain’s first prime minister of colour, Sunak has stabilised the economy, reassured allies from Washington to Kyiv and even soothed the European Union after years of sparring between Britain and the bloc.
That’s definitely better than Boris Johnson was getting earlier this year,” said Gideon Skinner, Ipsos’ head of political research. But he said Sunak’s popularity “is not showing signs of rubbing off onto the Conservative Party brand.”
In the same survey, the Conservative Party was liked by just 26 per cent and disliked by 62 per cent — the worst figures for the party in 15 years. The Ipsos phone survey of 1,004 adults is considered accurate to within plus or minus four percentage points.
Many voters welcome Sunak as a change from Truss and her predecessor Johnson, who quit in July after three scandal-plagued years in office. But the party has been in power since 2010, making it hard for Conservatives to avoid blame for the country’s financial woes.
Lingering allegations of misconduct also are tarnishing its image. On Wednesday Sunak appointed a senior lawyer to investigate allegations of bullying against his deputy prime minister, Dominic Raab.
It’s not impossible for the Conservatives to rebuild their popularity before the next election, due by the end of 2024. But it won’t be easy. Current polls suggest the Labour Party would win handily.