'Give us a summer vote': Most want general election in just months, says exclusive Ipsos poll

More than half of Britons want the general election held by the end of the summer, according to a new poll which piled pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to call it soon.

The exclusive Ipsos survey for the Evening Standard found 42 per cent of adults would like the poll held before the end of June, with a further 10 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, 10 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.

Conservative MPs are hoping the economy will pick up later in the year, and that Rwanda deportation flights will start, to give the Prime Minister and his party a poll boost.

But the latest results make increasingly dire reading for the Conservatives, with Mr Sunak’s rating as Prime Minister slumping to the worst ever for a leader of a major party, level-pegging with Jeremy Corbyn and John Major in the past.

Thursday’s Standard front page (Evening Standard)
Thursday’s Standard front page (Evening Standard)

Three-quarters of voters are dissatisfied with the way Mr Sunak is doing his job as premier (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 rating 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 are dissatisfied with Sir Keir (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 leaderships.

Other key findings include:

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

  • Labour 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 Greens 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 there is little public appetite for the Conservatives to change their leader and for Tories considering a coup against the Prime Minister, 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. But it’s still not clear the extent to which this a symptom rather than a cause of the Conservatives’ wider problems.”

Mr Sunak’s personal ratings have worsened on most measures since last September. He scores just 18 per cent on being a capable leader — the lowest for any party leader since this particular Ipsos poll started in 2010.

On understanding Britain’s problems he gets 20 per cent, down from 31 and also a record low. Seventy-two per cent say he is out of touch with ordinary people.

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.

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