Rishi Sunak's PM rating falls to lowest ever for major party leader and same level as Jeremy Corbyn - new poll

Rishi Sunak’s rating as Prime Minister has slumped to the worst ever for a leader of a major party, level-pegging with Jeremy Corbyn and John Major, according to a new poll.

But the exclusive Ipsos survey for The Standard will dash hopes among some Tory MPs that replacing Mr Sunak would boost their party’s fortunes.

It also found more than half of Britons want the General Election held by the end of the summer.

Three quarters of adults in the country are dissatisfied with the way Mr Sunak is doing his job as Prime Minister (up two points from February), with just 16 per cent satisfied (down three points), giving him a net score of -59.

This is Mr Sunak’s worst score as PM and matches the lowest scores Ipsos has ever seen for a Labour or Conservative leader, with Mr Corbyn falling to -60 in September 2019 and Mr Major, now Sir John, -59 in August 1994.

But the poll also found Sir Keir Starmer’s rating for doing his job falling to its lowest since he became Labour leader.

Fifty-six per cent say they dissatisfied with the Labour leader (up one point), 25 per cent satisfied (down four points), a net score of -31, and similar to -32 for William Hague and Ed Miliband’s -34 at similar points in their leadership.

Other key findings include:

* The Tories are on 19 per cent, compared to 20 per cent in February which was the worst for the party since 1978 when this regular poll tracker started.

* Labour is on 44 per cent, down three points, but still a 25-point lead over the Conservatives.

* Reform UK has overtaken the Liberal Democrats as the third party, jumping from eight per cent to 13 per cent.

* Both the Lib-Dems and Green Party are on nine per cent.

* 84 per cent are dissatisfied with the Government.

Sir Keir has increased his lead to its biggest over Mr Sunak as “most capable PM”, on 44 per cent to 22 per cent.

But for Tories considering a coup against Mr Sunak, only Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt appears to offer a likely boost to the party’s electoral hopes, and even that is marginal.

The scores between Sir Keir and her as “most capable PM” are 42 per cent to 25 per cent.

For the Labour leader against Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch they are 48 per cent to 14 per cent, if he was against ex-Home Secretary Suella Braverman 53/18, her predecessor Dame Priti Patel 54/19, Home Secretary James Cleverly 47/18 and Defence Secretary Grant Shapps 47/14.

Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos, said: “There’s no doubt that Rishi Sunak’s ratings are historically poor. Being in the company of John Major and Jeremy Corbyn before they lost elections does not bode well.

“But it’s still not clear the extent to which this a symptom rather than a cause of the Conservatives’ wider problems. The public are not crying out for another Conservative leadership change before the next election, and there is not much evidence that his potential challengers are seen as any better against the Labour leader.”

He added: “Labour will obviously be happier to have clear leads in voting intentions and in the leadership head-to-heads.

“But Keir Starmer is not building up a reserve of enthusiasm for his leadership, which could create problems further down the line.”

Thirty-seven per cent say the Tories should change leader before the general election, with 33 per cent disagreeing.

For Labour, 35 per cent back a change in leadership, and 37 per cent are against.

On general election timing, 42 per cent want it held before the end of June, with a further ten per cent saying in July or August.

Twenty-three per cent believe Mr Sunak should go to the country in the autumn, September or October.

Risking a possibly more wintry event, ten per cent opt for November or December, and seven per cent January, the latest possible time for the election.

The results largely follow party lines, with 62 per cent of Labour supporters wanting the poll by the end of June, and 71 per cent of Tory backers choosing between September and January.

Mr Sunak’s personal ratings have worsened on most measures since last September.

He scores just 18 per cent on being a capable leader, down from 26 per cent and the lowest for any party leader since this particular Ipsos started started in 2010.

On understanding Britain’s problems he gets 20 per cent, down from 31 per cent and also a record low.

For being good in a crisis, he is only on 18 per cent, down from 28 per cent, and the lowest for a Conservative leader in the Ipsos series, on being patriotic he is down from 39 per cent to 34 per cent, the lowest since 2015, and on having sound judgement down from 25 per cent to 17 per cent.

Seventy-two per cent say he is out of touch with ordinary people, similar to the September finding but still one of the highest recorded, with 41 per cent saying he is more style than substance.

While Sir Keir is ahead on most personal image results, his ratings have also declined on several measures since September including on being a capable leader (down from 35 per cent to 29 per cent), understanding Britain’s problems (44 to 35), good in a crisis (23 to 18), having sound judgement (32 to 26), and being patriotic (from 44 to 39).

* Ipsos interviewed 1,072 adults in Britain between April 3 and 15. Data are weighted. Full details at ipsos.com/en-uk