Public support for Rishi Sunak reaches all-time low

Labour leader Keir Starmer, continues to outpoll the prime minister as the favourite optiom

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the House of Commons in London  on February 22. UK Parliament / AFP
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The public's approval rating for Rishi Sunak has reached its lowest point yet amid widespread pessimism about Brexit and the direction of the UK, a poll has found.

Polling company Ipsos found only 27 per cent of people had a favourable opinion of the Prime Minister in a survey carried out between February 10 and 15, while 46 per cent said they had an unfavourable view.

This represents a drop on last month when 30 per cent of people said they held a favourable view of Mr Sunak and 39 per cent said they held an unfavourable one.

The figures are the worst of his premiership and more in line with the overall favourability rating of his party and his predecessor, Boris Johnson.

The poll of 2,200 British adults found only 25 per cent had a favourable view of the Conservatives, up from 20 per cent when Mr Sunak took over, and 28 per cent had a favourable opinion of Mr Johnson.

But both the Conservatives and Mr Johnson had “unfavourable” scores above 50 per cent.

Meanwhile his opponent, Keir Starmer, continues to outpoll him with a favourability score of 32 per cent, although 39 per cent of people said they had an unfavourable view of the Labour leader.

Rishi Sunak's first 100 days as Prime Minister - in pictures

“When Rishi Sunak became prime minister it was notable that his personal poll ratings were significantly better than those of his party," Ipsos research director Keiran Pedley said.

“This increasingly no longer appears to be the case amidst public pessimism about the direction of the country.”

That pessimism was reflected in Ipsos’s finding that 60 per cent of people now think the country is heading in the wrong direction.

Rishi Sunak through the years - in pictures

While Mr Sunak has spent the week trying to negotiate a solution to the dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol, Ipsos found 55 per cent of people thought Brexit has had a negative effect on the UK.

This was the most pessimistic figure for Brexit recorded by Ipsos since the company started asking about the effects of leaving the EU in January 2020.

“Our polling shows strong public concern about the cost of living and public services, whilst Brexit is being viewed more negatively over time as well," Mr Pedley said.

“The Prime Minister will hope he is able to seize the political agenda in the coming weeks and months if he is to have any chance of turning his fortunes around.”

Updated: February 22, 2023, 8:41 PM