What does the latest UK politics betting say? PM's popularity plummeting

  • Max Liu
  • 4:00 min read
Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer
Johnson's popularity is in decline but can Starmer take advantage?

Boris Johnson's approval ratings are abysmal but bettors' lack of faith in Labour is reflected in the latest UK politics betting says Max Liu...

Thirty-six per cent look upon the chancellor favourably and, although his popularity has been in decline since March, he is 3.39/4 in the next Conservative leader betting.

The odds on the Conservatives winning a majority at the next general election drifted to 2.226/5 in a week when there were further signs that Boris Johnson's popularity with voters was in decline.

No over all majority at the next election - which is 1.635/8 to happen in 2024 - is 2.3211/8.

Polling from Opinium, conducted on Thursday and Friday, had approval for Johnson at -16%. This followed figures from Ipsos Mori earlier in the week which showed the prime minister's popularity continued to fall since June.

The same research showed 30% of Britons think things in Britain are heading in the right direction (-5 pts from June); 44% think things are heading in the wrong direction (+4).

The net rating on this measure of -14 is the lowest since January this year when Britain was in the depths of the winter lockdown, the daily number of deaths from Covid-19 was regularly above 1000 and the NHS was under severe pressure.

The research was conducted at the end of last month, with around 1000 people consulted. The only crumb of comfort for Johnson was that Labour leader Keir Starmer, who is 5.49/2 to be the next prime minister, continued to be unpopular.

Starmer's favourability stood at 23%, although that was a slight increase, with 38% unfavourable towards the man who was elected by Labour members to take them back into government for the first time since 2010.

Johnson threatens to demote Sunak

The most popular politician in Ipsos Mori's polling was chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Thirty-six per cent look upon the chancellor favourably, although his popularity has been in decline since March. Nevertheless, he is 3.39/4 in the next Conservative leader betting.

Rishi Sunak 956.jpg

He has been fancied for the top job ever since Johnson made him chancellor in February last year. The pair clashed recently though, with reports this week saying Johnson was ready to boot Sunak out of 11 Downing Street with a demotion.

Several papers said this weekend that a furious Johnson threatened to dismiss the chancellor on Monday in a row over a leaked letter by Sunak about relaxing travel restrictions.

The Sunday Times claimed Johnson had considered Liz Truss - 10.519/2 to be next Tory leader - as a potential successor to Sunak, in part because he thinks Truss is "controllable", according to a source.

It's less than 18 months since Sunak was given the job, after Sajid Javid was forced out, because the then little known MP for Richmond, North Yorkshire was considered controllable by Dominic Cummings - the PM's special adviser who, of course, subsequently quit and dedicated himself to bringing down the Johnson administration.

When I read about Johnson's threat to Sunak I started to think about the history of hostility between PMs and their chancellors - Tony Blair and Gordon Brown being the obvious example - but actually, the sense that in this government working relationships sour quickly and close allies become fierce enemies, is more like the Trump presidency.

Populist politicians love to exploit chaos but the fall of Trump in the US indicated that electorates tire of it eventually. The problems Johnson is facing look more like dysfunction at the heart of his government than any calculated masterplan. He has lead a charmed life but, eventually, his luck will run out.

He is 1.84/5 to survive as Conservative leader until 2024 but, if his popularity with voters continues to plummet and he clashes with members of the government, that is a lay.

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Thursday 2 May, 7.00am

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