Keir Starmer just achieved something huge that no Labour leader has done in 13 years

Monday 29 June 2020 07:00
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Labour leader Keir Starmer has pulled ahead of Boris Johnson in polling as the UK’s preferred prime minister for the first time ever.

An Opinium Poll released last night showed 37 per cent of people thought Starmer would do a better job as prime minister, compared to 35 per cent for Johnson.

To make matters worse for Johnson, Starmer has a +27 per cent personal approval rating, while the PM’s is “narrowly negative”.

But it’s not all bad news, because the Conservatives still have a poll lead over Labour by 43 per cent to 39 per cent.

This polling is incredibly significant as it’s the first time since 2007, when Tony Blair stopped being prime minister, that a Labour leader has overtaken a Tory leader in the preferred PM polling.

Jeremy Corbyn was famously out-polled by “don’t know” on this very question for most of his leadership against various Tory PMs.

The new polling comes after Johnson’s handling of the coronavirus crisis has come under further scrutiny and Starmer sacked Corbyn ally Rebecca Long-Bailey as shadow education secretary.

When asked by the BBC if Starmer was a better Labour leader than he ever was, former leader Ed Miliband said:

Definitely – we’ve seen that already.

I certainly never had his approval ratings, I think he’s made a great start. I think he’s made a great start.

But the bad news doesn't stop there for the Tories, the new Opinium poll also showed the public’s disapproval for the government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis continued to plummet, with 59 per cent thinking the current levels of testing in the UK are insufficient.

Ouch.

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