Theresa May Is Now Nearly As Unpopular As Jeremy Corbyn Was Last November
The Debrief: What does the serious drop in approval for Theresa May mean for her future as Prime Minister?
New polling data from YouGov has found that Theresa May’s popularity is plummeting. Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn’s stock is continuing to rise.
Now, of course, we know that you can’t always believe the polls. They are by no means finite but they do provide a snapshot of public opinion, they take the temperature of what is supposed to be a representative bunch of citizens.
And, according to this particular poll, our Prime Minister is now almost as unpopular as the Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, was before the general election was called. I.e. she’s really very unpopular.
The research shows that the election campaign, which was intended to cement Theresa May as one of the strongest and most stable leaders in our history, has in fact eroded support for her. It seems that the public’s view of Theresa May and the Conservative party has been badly damaged by the election, while Labour and Jeremy Corbyn have gone up in people’s estimations.
In April, May had a favourability rating of +10, which is good. At the end of May, after a few weeks of a very negative campaign and badly communicated manifesto, this dropped to -5 which is bad, but not impossible to overcome. Now that the election is over, however, her rating is down in the dumps at -34. YouGov points out that this is where Jeremy Corbyn’s rating was back in November 2016 when nobody took him seriously or thought he was capable of winning an election. Ever.
There are many reasons why Theresa May and the Conservative party are suffering. The election campaign they ran was, at its core, negative. The manifesto her party produced offered very little to people. And, finally, her decision to align with the DUP in the wake of failing to win enough seats for a majority government, coupled with her already heavily criticised handling of the Grenfell Tower disaster is likely to have impacted people’s estimations of her.
As Matthew Smith, a data journalist at YouGov writes, these figures are significant because ‘it is remarkable that there has been such a sharp turnaround for the leaders of the two main political parties. When the election was called, Theresa May was secure in her position and many were speculating over the future of the Labour leader. Now, the roles are reversed, with Jeremy Corbyn having silenced his critics and won over large sections of the public while the Prime Minister faces criticism from across the board.’
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