Ed Balls's popularity soars after Strictly Come Dancing performances, new poll shows

Exclusive: The poll also shows Theresa May is the only politician with a positive rating

Joe Watts
Political Editor
Saturday 10 December 2016 19:08
Comments
Ed Balls
Ed Balls

Former shadow Chancellor Ed Balls’s popularity has soared following his lumbering appearances on Strictly Come Dancing, a poll has revealed.

His awkward yet somehow unmissable routines have resulted in the former Labour MP’s favourability among voters leap by 28 percentage points.

The exclusive ComRes poll for The Independent also showed Prime Minister Theresa May is the only politician to have a positive favourability rating, while both she and the Conservative Party do better than Jeremy Corbyn and Labour.

Boris Johnson was the most popular Conservative after Ms May, while shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was the most favoured Labour figure, beating Mr Corbyn.

In Mr Balls’s appearances on Strictly he nearly dropped his dance partner, painted his face bright green and rubbed his body suggestively in a way that would normally spell the end of any politician’s public standing.

But the performances also shed light on a more playful, amenable side to Mr Balls, once known as the toughest of Gordon Brown’s political bruisers.

In January 2015 when he was shadow Chancellor, his favourability rating – the proportion of people favourably disposed towards him, minus those unfavourably disposed – came in at minus 39 per cent.

Ed Balls performs Gangnam Style on Strictly

Today it stands at minus 11, with 21 per cent having a favourable opinion of him and 32 per cent an unfavourable one.

Only two current politicians beat Mr Balls in the poll, Ms May who scored a notably high plus 11, and Mr Johnson who hit minus 6.

The result is all the more interesting as it comes after a week in which the two Tories clashed over the Foreign Secretary’s outspoken comments accusing Saudi Arabia of playing "proxy wars".

While Downing Street was quick to slap down Mr Johnson, other Tories came to his support and backed what they saw as an accurate assessment of the situation in the Middle East.

Ed Balls loses seat

The next most popular Tory was Chancellor Philip Hammond who scored minus 12, the same score as the Tories more broadly.

The Labour Party scored minus 17, with Mr McDonnell coming in at minus 19. That may irk advisors in Mr Corbyn’s office, given the leader only scored minus 26, an equal rating to Ukip’s Nigel Farage.

The poll showed new Ukip leader Paul Nuttall, on minus 32, still has work to do before catching up with his predecessor. The public took a particularly grim view of US President-elect Donald Trump, giving him a score of minus 52.

ComRes interviewed 2,040 GB adults online on 7 and 8 December 2016. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults and by past vote recall. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables on the ComRes website.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in