Forced to choose, four times as many Lib Dem voters would go for a Labour government headed by Keir Starmer than a Conservative one headed by Boris Johnson. That’s the finding from new polling published by Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft.
Other key points I have drawn from reading the full report are:
- Voters rate the government best on protecting jobs and the NHS during coronavirus and worst on issues such as communicating clearly. That helps explain both the popularity of Rishi Sunak and the fact that the Conservatives are still regularly polling in the high 30s or low 40s.
- Keir Starmer polls better than Labour. Voters believe he is different from Jeremy Corbyn, but are much more sceptical about whether the Labour Party has changed. Only 10% think both that Starmer is not very different from Corbyn and that Labour has not really changed. Changing perceptions of Labour is vital for Labour success. (Which is why Len McCluskey attacking Starmer is most likely good news for Starmer.)
- The political fate of Boris Johnson rests heavily with votes who view him as someone who could be a good Prime Minister under different circumstances but that he is not the kind of leader we need at the moment. This 21% of voters sit between those who think he is doing a good job (27%) and those who think he would not be a good Prime Minister whatever the circumstance (39%).
- Currently, voters are not that interested in Brexit. Less than a quarter (25%) view it is one of the three most important issues facing them and their family.