15 July 2024

Rishi Sunak’s Popularity Hits All Time Low Amidst Tory Civil War

Rishi Sunak

Prima Minister Rishi Sunak at the press conference following the Rwanda ruling. (Source: Simon Walker/No 10 Downing Street)

Sunak’s popularity plummeted to similar levels as Boris Johnson’s at the time of his resignation, according to a YouGov poll conducted ahead of Tuesday’s crunch vote on his flagship Rwanda bill.

While the Bill won enough support to win approval on a second reading on Tuesday, the Tory civil war is not over. Right wing hard-liners can yet vote it down in the new year if their demands for a tougher legislation that opts out of the of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) are not met. Former UK immigration minister Robert Jenrick resigned last week over the Prime Minister’s resistance to opting out of the ECHR.

On the other hand, more moderate Tory MPs have said they won’t be able to support a Bill that breaks away from the ECHR. In order to pass the Bill, Sunak faces the titanic task of finding a compromise that satisfies both.

Low Ratings

Party infighting and severe criticism from his own MPs has done no favours to Sunak’s image, causing drop of a te points since late November. According to the YouGov poll which took place on Monday evening and Tuesday morning, Sunak was viewed favourably by just 21% of Britons; 70% said that their opinion on the Prime Minister was unfavourable. YouGov estimated a net favourability score of -49 for Sunak; at the time of his resignation, Boris Johnson’s score was -53.

“Christmas is a time of peace on earth and goodwill to all. Has anyone told the Tory party?” Labour leader Keir Starmer said on Wednesday, as he opened up Prime Minister’s Questions.

Starmer’s own personal rating, however, has also slipped. According to YouGov, it fell by nine points in the past two weeks, landing him at a -22  score. Of all respondents, only 32% said they held a positive view of him, while 54% viewed him negatively.