Pollster says new figures suggest Keir Starmer has ‘detoxified’ the Labour Party

PUBLISHED: 11:44 05 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:15 05 June 2020

"Unless the Lib Dems swing decisively behind Labour, both in ideology and electoral tactics, it is hard to see a winning strategy for Keir Starmers Labour party in the 2024 election." Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

A pollster has suggested that new polling numbers indicate that Sir Keir Starmer has help ‘detoxify’ the Labour Party since becoming leader in April.

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Ipsos MORI 'party favourability' chart which shows the gap between people who view the Labour Party favourably or unfavourably is shrinking; Ipsos MORI, TwitterIpsos MORI 'party favourability' chart which shows the gap between people who view the Labour Party favourably or unfavourably is shrinking; Ipsos MORI, Twitter

A snap poll carried out by Ipsos MORI has found that the gap between people who either approve or disapprove of Labour has dropped by 19 points since Jeremy Corbyn’s departure.

Approximately 31% view the Labour favourably, while 39% do not, giving the political establishment a net favourability score of -8. During the Corbyn’s reign, that number was -27.

Also striking is that more members of the public dislike the Tory party (44%) now than in May (39%), giving them a net favourability gap of -11.

The polling firm also found that 43% of people do not like Boris Johnson while 39% do, a drop on last month’s figures showing approval ratings at 45% and disapproval at 38%.

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Ipsos MORI research director Keiran Pedley said the data showed a shift in public attitudes. “The data shows that Johnson is a polarising figure whilst Starmer continues to be a relative unknown – although that is changing,” he said.

In fact, the study has uncovered that an increasing number of respondents feel optimistic about Starmer’s leadership, with 36% viewing him favourably, up 10 percentage points from April. Another 64% believe he is more likely than the prime ministern to “pay attention to detail”.

“Labour will be encouraged that Starmer’s ratings continue to be net positive as he becomes better known and that Labour is no longer looked upon less favourably by the public than the Conservatives,” Pedley added.

“However, with Labour yet to lead the Conservatives in voting intention polls it is still a long way back to power for the party.”

The study of 1,291 British adults over the last week also discovered that fewer Britons feel the country is heading “in the right direction” with 30% who say it is compared to 43% who say it is not.

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