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Labour leading the Tories

Summary:

  1. Among those likely to vote, the Tories trail Labour by 7 points, putting Labour on the cusp of a majority government
  2. Truss (-21) and the Tories (-22) have low approval among Brits, though Starmer (+1) doesn’t add to party performance, and is well behind the approval of his party (+12)
  3. Almost two thirds of Brits (63%) expect the economy to worsen over the next 6 months, and a similar proportion (62%) expect their household incomes to worsen
  4. The cost of and standard of living dominates the list of national priorities for Brits, with half (50%) saying it is the most important issue facing the country today
  5. By almost two to one, Brits agree that the government should look to reduce taxes, even if it means fewer or more streamlined services (46% agree, 25% disagree)


The Freshwater Strategy poll, conducted between the 23rd and 25th September, puts Labour on 40% of the vote, among those likely to vote (up 7pts since the last election in 2019), the Conservative Party is on 33% (down 12pts), the Lib Dems on 11%, the SNP on 4%, and Reform UK and the Greens on 3% each.

On a uniform national swing^, these results suggest that, if a General Election were held today, Labour secure approximately 319 seats, just 7 short of being able to form an overall majority, in their own right. However, the results suggest that they could easily form a government with the support of either, the Liberal Democrats (on approx. 15 seats), or the SNP (approx. 51 seats).

Labour’s current performance among voters may have little to do with the appeal of its leader, Keir Starmer. Starmer’s net approval stands at just +1, significantly behind that of the Labour Party (+12).

However, both Starmer and the Labour Party are well ahead of newly appointed PM, Liz Truss who has a net approval of -21, and the Conservative Party, on -22.

The poll also found that Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson were even further down the approval scale, with a net approval of -24 and -31, respectively.

The poll also painted a dire economic outlook from British voters, with the cost of and standard of living dominating the issue agenda, picked as the single most important national priority by half of adults (50%, see above).

Also, almost two thirds of voters (63%, see below) stating that they believe the national economy will have worsened 6 months from now. A similar proportion (62%) believe that their own household finances will have either worsened a little (36%) or worsened a lot (26%) 6 months from now.

The poll also found that there is substantial support among voters for the government looking to reduce taxes wherever possible (below). Some 46% agreed with the statement “the government should be looking to reduce taxes, even if it means fewer or more streamlined state services“, almost twice as many who disagreed (25%). Importantly for the government, a majority of 2019 Conservative voters (51%) said that they agreed with the government looking to reduce taxes were possible.

However, a majority of Brits (51%) also said that they disagreed with the approach that the current government has taken, to reduce tax rates for high earners. Just 25% agreed with the statement “tax rates for high earners should be minimised to keep the UK competitive”.

An article by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, featuring these results, can be found here and here.

Freshwater Strategy interviewed a representative sample of 1,001 adults living in Great Britain, online between 23rd and 25th September. Data are weighted.

 

For comment, additional analysis, or a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, please get in touch.

 

Email: polling@freshwaterstrategy.com

 

^Uniform national swing (UNS) calculated using electoral calculus user-defined prediction at www.electoralcalculus.co.uk

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