Jeremy Corbyn has overtaken David Cameron in leadership satisfaction ratings in the aftermath of last week’s Budget.
According to the latest Ipsos MORI polling, the Labour leader’s ratings improved a net 10 points, while the Prime Minister’s fell a net ten points.
Mr Corbyn is now on net -11 while Mr Cameron is on net -25 with the pollster.
Ben Page, the pollster’s chief executive however warned that Mr Corbyn’s net score may be exaggerated because he had a lower recognition rate, having been only in the job since September.
There has been speculation that Mr Corbyn’s satisfaction rating with the pollster – his highest with any firm – may also be exaggerated by Conservatives saying they are satisfied with what they perceive as his poor performance.
Other pollsters ask different question formulations – including whether a leader is “doing a good job” – which would likely shed light on whether the shift represents a real move in support.
The boost for Mr Corbyn however comes amid a number of pollsters showing Labour drawing nearly level, level, or slightly above the Tories in voting intention.
Ipsos MORI had Labour up one point to 34 per cent, and the Tories down three to 36 per cent.
Mr Corbyn has been ahead of Mr Cameron before with the firm, but this came at a stage where he had a very low rate of recognition.
The firm’s leadership polling is valuable in particular because it has asked the same phrased leadership question for decades – allowing direct comparisons to previous leaders.
According to an analysis conducted by Rob Ford, professor of political science at the University of Manchester, Mr Corbyn has better ratings than Gordon Brown and Michael Foot six months into their leaderships.
He is however far behind Tony Blair, John Smith, Neil Kinnock, and slightly behind Ed Miliband.
The most ridiculous claims made about Jeremy Corbyn
The most ridiculous claims made about Jeremy Corbyn
1/11 He called Hezbollah and Hamas ‘friends’
True. In a speech made to the Stop the War Coalition in 2009, Mr Corbyn called representatives from both groups “friends” after inviting them to Parliament. He later told Channel 4 he wanted both groups, who have factions designated as international terror organisations, to be “part of the debate” for the Middle East peace process. “I use (the word ‘friends’) in a collective way, saying our friends are prepared to talk,” he added. “Does it mean I agree with Hamas and what it does? No. Does it mean I agree with Hezbollah and what they do? No.”
2/11 ‘Jeremy Corbyn thinks the death of Osama bin Laden was a tragedy’
Partly false. David Cameron used this as a line of attack at the Conservative Party conference but appears to have left out all context from Mr Corbyn’s original remarks. In an 2011 interview on Iranian television, the then-backbencher said the fact the al-Qaeda leader was not put on trial was the tragedy, continuing: “The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy.”
3/11 He is ‘haunted’ by the legacy of his ‘evil’ great-great-grandfather
False. A Daily Express exposé revealed that the Labour leader’s ancestor, James Sargent, was the “despotic” master of a Victorian workhouse. Addressing the report at the Labour conference, Mr Corbyn said he had never heard of him before, adding: “I want to take this opportunity to apologise for not doing the decent thing and going back in time and having a chat with him about his appalling behaviour.”
4/11 Jeremy Corbyn raised a motion about ‘pigeon bombs’ in Parliament
This one is true. On 21 May 2004, Mr Corbyn raised an early day motion entitled “pigeon bombs”, proposing that the House register being “appalled but barely surprised” that MI5 reportedly proposed to load pigeons with explosives as a weapon. The motion continued: “The House… believes that humans represent the most obscene, perverted, cruel, uncivilised and lethal species ever to inhabit the planet and looks forward to the day when the inevitable asteroid slams into the earth and wipes them out thus giving nature the opportunity to start again.” It was not carried.
5/11 He rides a Communist bicycle
False. A report in The Times referred to Mr Corbyn, known for his cycling, riding a “Chairman Mao-style bicycle” earlier this year. “Less thorough journalists might have referred to it as just a bicycle, but no, so we have to conclude that whenever we see somebody on a bicycle from now on, there goes another supporter of Chairman Mao,” he later joked.
6/11 'Jeremy Corbyn will appoint a special minister for Jews'
False so far. The Sun report in December was allegedly based on a “rumour” passed to the paper by a Daily Express columnist who has written pieces critical of the Labour leader in the past. The minister did not materialise in his shadow cabinet.
7/11 ‘Jeremy Corbyn wishes Britain would abolish its Army’
False. Another gem from The Sun took comments made at a Hiroshima remembrance parade in August 2012 where Mr Corbyn supported Costa Rica’s move to abolish it armed forces. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every politician around the world…abolished the army and took pride in the fact that they don’t have an army,” he added. The caveat that “every politician” must take the step suggests Mr Corbyn does not support UK disarmament just yet.
8/11 Jeremy Corbyn stole sandwiches meant for veterans
False. The Guido Fawkes blog claimed that the Labour leader took sandwiches meant for veterans at at Battle of Britain memorial service in September but a photo later emerged showing him being handed one by Costa volunteers, who later confirmed they were given to all guests.
9/11 He missed the induction into the Queen’s privy council
True. After much speculation about Mr Corbyn’s republican views and willingness to bow to the monarch, his office confirmed that he did not attend the official induction to the privy council because of a prior engagement, but did not rule out joining the body.
10/11 Jeremy Corbyn refuses to sing the national anthem.
Partly true. The Labour leader was filmed standing in silence as God Save the Queen was sung at a Battle of Britain remembrance service but will reportedly sing it in future. Mr Corbyn was elusive on the issue in an interview, saying he would show memorials “respect in the proper way”, but sources said he would sing the anthem at future occasions.
11/11 He is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cheese
True. The group lists its purpose as the following: “To increase awareness of issues surrounding the dairy industry and focus on economic issues affecting the dairy industry and producers.”
The poll saw rises in net satisfaction for all the main opposition leaders. Nigel Farage was up a net 13 points and only three points away from having a positive rating.
Meanwhile, the public are slowly beginning to recognise Tim Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrats. His satisfaction rating was up four points, and his dissatisfaction also up two points – his net satisfaction is one point behind Mr Corbyn.
The good news for Mr Corbyn comes just over a month before his first major electoral test, where the parties will contest local councils, the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, and the Mayor of London and London Assembly elections.