How are Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn doing in the polls?

Published: 2nd May 2018

In brief

Claim

Theresa May leads Jeremy Corbyn in the opinion polls.

Conclusion

It’s correct that Theresa May is more favoured as Prime Minister than Jeremy Corbyn in polls generally, though the Express poll only compares the two leaders on their economic credibility.

“Britain backs May … Theresa May has kept a commanding opinion poll lead over Jeremy Corbyn despite a bruising few weeks for her Government.”

Daily Express, 2 May 2018

A poll for the Daily Express found 43% of adults in Great Britain agree with the statement “Theresa May might not be the most exciting politician but she is the right person for the job at the moment”. A similar number - 41% - disagreed with this, and 16% didn’t know.

The poll also found, if Jeremy Corbyn were Prime Minister, more people think the economy would be weaker than stronger.

This data only compares the party leaders on one policy area which doesn’t necessarily reflect how the public feel about them generally. While the Conservative party and Conservative politicians tend to poll better on economic matters, Labour tend to be more favoured on other matters, for example the NHS.

Other polls indicate Theresa May is more favoured than Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister

Nevertheless, other recent polls by YouGov and Ipsos MORI indicate that the public think Theresa May would make the better Prime Minister.     

In mid-April, 39% of GB adults told YouGov that, of the two, Mrs May would make the best Prime Minister, while 26% thought Mr Corbyn would make the best Prime Minister. The remaining 37% were unsure.

A week later Ipsos found 44% of GB adults agreed Mrs May has what it takes to be a good Prime Minister, with 46% disagreeing. Fewer (31%) agreed Mr Corbyn has what it takes to be a good Prime Minister and more (59%) disagreed.

With these three polls in particular, the views of the party leaders is meant to represent the public as a whole, not just people expected to vote.

This poll put both parties neck and neck in the polls, recent polls have given the Conservatives the edge

Overall, the Express/Comres poll found the parties themselves tied in the main voting intention figures – both had 40% support among likely voters.

Looking at some other recent polling, the margin between Labour and the Conservatives is small. YouGov put the Conservatives 4 points ahead, ICM put them 3 points ahead, and Ipsos MORI put them 1 point ahead. As mentioned, these numbers do have a margin of error, so overall the parties could well be at similar levels, or the gap could be even larger. You can read our piece about polling accuracy here.

Whatever happens in tomorrow’s local elections, the results won’t be useful indicators of what will happen nationally in a general election.


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