Keir Starmer blames vaccine rollout success for Labour’s poor poll performance

Labour leader Keir Starmer speaking after Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave his speech to Parliament

Labour leader Keir Starmer in the House of Commons - Credit: PA

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has suggested the success of the coronavirus vaccine rollout has led to the Conservatives establishing a 13-point lead over his party.

He said “people want the government to succeed” during a pandemic, but conceded there is a “lot of work to do” to rebuild support.

The poll by YouGov for the Times, in the wake of the Budget, suggested Tory support is at 45%, up four points on last week, while Labour’s support fell four points to 32%.

Some 36% chose Boris Johnson when asked whether he or Sir Keir would make the best prime minister. Just 28% chose the Labour leader, while 33% said they did not know.

The poll also found that the majority of people – 55% – thought the chancellor’s Budget on Wednesday was “fair”, despite it meaning that British households and businesses will shoulder the biggest tax burden since the 1960s.

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Sir Keir was asked by reporters on Friday morning why he thinks he is becoming less popular.

He said: “I think during a pandemic like this people want the government to succeed and you see that reflected in the polls.

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“Of course we’ve got a lot of work to do – I accept that – but I think in the middle of a pandemic, particularly with the vaccine rollout, people do want the government to succeed.”

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