Six in 10 say UK not being run competently or with integrity, says poll

An Ipsos poll found Sir Keir Starmer is more trusted to tell the truth than the Prime Minister.

Christopher McKeon
Wednesday 15 February 2023 12:30 GMT
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. (James Manning/PA)
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. (James Manning/PA)

Only a third of the public believes the Government is running the country properly, competently and seriously, according to a new poll.

Just 32% or people told pollster Ipsos they had confidence that the Government was running the country properly, while 30% said they thought the country was being run with integrity.

Almost two-thirds of people said the country was not being run properly, competently, seriously or with integrity.

These figures represent a significant improvement since October, when Liz Truss was prime minister and only 21% thought the country was being run competently, but are only slightly better than they were when Boris Johnson resigned in July.

Ipsos carried out the poll of 2,100 British adults between February 3 and 5, shortly after former chancellor Nadhim Zahawi was sacked as Conservative Party chair for breaching the ministerial code.

The poll also found increasing pessimism about Rishi Sunak’s chances of leading the Conservatives to victory at the next general election.

Some 62% of people said they thought it was unlikely he would win re-election, while 57% doubted that he would be able to unite his party.

Both figures have increased since November, just after Mr Sunak took office, when 55% said they did not think he would win the next election and 41% thought he would be unable to unite the Tories.

Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos, said: “After a brief recovery, the public are returning to their earlier view that the Conservatives are unlikely to win the next election under Rishi Sunak – much as they felt towards the end of Boris Johnson’s reign, although there is a bit more optimism for the party’s chances than under Liz Truss.

“Most also doubt that the Government is living up to his aim of running the country properly, competently and seriously – again an improvement from under Liz Truss, but not much better than under Boris Johnson.”

The poll also found that the public trusted Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to tell the truth more than the Prime Minister.

Some 37% of people said they trusted Sir Keir to tell the truth all or most of the time, while 29% said the same about Mr Sunak.

Conversely, 26% thought Sir Keir told the truth never or not very often, while 38% said the same about the Prime Minister.

Trust in former prime minister Boris Johnson remains low, with only 15% of people saying they thought he told the truth all or most of the time, and 30% of people saying they thought he never told the truth.

Mr Skinner said: “The Prime Minister’s personal ratings on trust have actually improved slightly since the time of the August leadership campaign, and on this measure he is well ahead of his predecessor Boris Johnson. But his ratings are still negative overall, and Keir Starmer is more trusted.”

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