Rishi Sunak bounce: Has new PM got an upwsing in the polls?

Rishi Sunak bounce: Has new PM got an upwsing in the polls?

Updated: 3 months, 12 days, 6 hours, 31 minutes, 51 seconds ago

Unless you are Liz Truss, it is usual for a new Prime Minister or political leader to experience an uptick in the polls. A fresh face, a clean sweep and curiosity in what the new regime may deliver all contribute to the public warming to the new person in charge.  

Just days into the job, Rishi Sunak faces several mountains to climb to regain the sort of popularity for both the Prime Minister and the Conservative party which wins elections.  

Not only does he have to appear more credible than Sir Keir Starmer, he has to shake off the discontent which has dogged the Tories, to put it mildly, repair the damage done to their reputation for economic competency and make them palatable to a voting public gone whose opinion has soured since Boris Johnson was caught partying during the pandemic.  

Can Rishi expect a ‘new leader ‘bounce’ 

While not exactly a new face – Mr Sunak was Boris Johnson’s Chancellor and lost out to Liz Truss in the race to be leader of the Conservatives – the 42-year-old does enter No 10 Downing Street with the opportunity to offer something different.  

Liz Truss’ brief time in the hotseat delivered economic policies so unpalatable to the markets they caused the pound to plunge and led to banks bailing out pension funds.  

Which party do Britons trust the most to manage the economy? (23 October)

Labour 41% (-2)
Conservative 19% (+4)
Other Parties 19% (+3)
Don't know 21% (-6)

Changes +/- 16 October pic.twitter.com/b9jyhD3HGZ— Redfield & Wilton Strategies (@RedfieldWilton) October 28, 2022

So taking a new direction at least offers Mr Sunak the chance to show he is offering something different, crucial if the public are to be swayed.  

What do the polls say? 

It is early days, but some polling companies have tried to work out if the new Prime Minister is enjoying an uptick in fortunes. And they have noted a slight warming towards Mr Sunak from voters put off by his predecessor.  

But with previous polls showing the Conservatives all but being wiped out if a general election was held tomorrow, the party remains a long way from being able to form a government if the latest opinion sampling was replicated at the ballot box.  

Latest Westminster voting intention (25-26 Oct)

Con: 23% (+4 from 20-21 Oct)
Lab: 51% (-5)
Lib Dem: 9% (-1)
Reform UK: 6% (+1)
Green: 4% (=)
SNP: 5% (+1)https://t.co/vIpsm7Yl0P pic.twitter.com/KzyhtHoYB6— YouGov (@YouGov) October 27, 2022

On Thursday, a poll by Yougov for the Times found that Support for the Conservatives has gone up to 23 per cent - an increase of 4% from their previous survey- while Labour fell five points to 51%.  

This would give Labour a 28% lead in the polls, slightly down on average over the month.  

A second poll, by Redfield and Winton, put labour on 55% and the Tories on 23%, a 1% change towards Mr Sunak’s party since the last time the company looked at the issue.  

Labour leads by 32%.

Westminster Voting Intention (25-26 October):
Labour 55% (+1)
Conservative 23% (+2)
Liberal Democrat 9% (-2)
Green 5% (+1)
Reform UK 4% (–)
Scottish National Party 4% (+1)
Other 1% (-1)
Changes +/- 23 Octoberhttps://t.co/WikR4pzwF5 pic.twitter.com/G2dqVr1j3u— Redfield & Wilton Strategies (@RedfieldWilton) October 27, 2022

Both polls were carried out between 25-26 October, covering the day Mr Sunak became Prime Minister. 

Is there a Rishi bounce? 

While the gulf between to two parties remains large, the very slight swing towards the Conservatives shows that there is at least a glimmer of movement towards the new man. At any rate, opinions towards his party had stopped plunging as they did during the short reign of Liz Truss.  

🧵 What do the public think of Rishi Sunak?

% who expect him to be a [x] PM
Great/good: 25%
Average: 29%
Poor/terrible: 29%

(52% expected Liz Truss to be poor/terrible when she became PM)https://t.co/wXZ9Hebkbo pic.twitter.com/SUBjUfXGzK— YouGov (@YouGov) October 25, 2022

Both polls come with the caution that it is very early days, and that the public will be waiting to see what Mr Sunak’s policies, not least towards the economy, turn out to be.  

But it remains the case that the new Prime Minister has a huge amount of ground to make up if the Tories are to stay in power come the next UK-wide ballot.