Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer slips further behind PM in popularity stakes

Beleaguered Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is 17 percentage points behind Boris Johnson as the nation’s preferred Prime Minister.

Sir Keir had started to close the gap during April – but over recent weeks support has fallen away, said pollsters Optimum.

In a survey last week Sir Keir garnered 29% of votes while Mr Johnson saw his share climb by eight points to 40%.

Adam Drummond, Opinium’s head of political polling, said:

“Keir Starmer’s ratings have taken a tumble as Labour voters begin to fear that he isn’t the one to lead the party back to power.

“The Labour leader has taken a significant fall across all metrics in the last two weeks, particularly being a strong leader, looking like a Prime Minister in waiting, and being able to get things done.

“Any opposition would be struggling against a government riding the success of the vaccine rollout.

“The last time the government’s approval figures for the pandemic were this positive the Conservatives held a 17-point lead.

“However, at least then Labour could console itself that their leader was new and making a positive impression.

“Labour’s poor position today is the result of factors both out of their control and things they should be deeply concerned with.”

Sir Keir became Labour leader in April 2020 – taking over from Jeremy Corbyn.

The new man in charge saw a surge in support with his party ahead of the Tories in some polls.

However, the Government’s handling of the Covid-19 vaccine programme roll-out has won the Conservatives much approval.

The poll, based on the responses of 2,004 adults in the UK, also showed:

  • 33% of Labour voters want Sir Keir to resign as party leader
  • 49% do not want him to go
  • Two-thirds think Labour did badly in the local elections earlier this month but just 31% blame Sir Keir

About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV’s Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.