One of the things I like about the Ipsos MORI ratings is that they go back so far so you can make decent comparisons, their leader ratings have been an outstandingly accurate barometer on who will win the next general election, they have been a better barometer than voting intention polls.
I thought it would be interesting to see how Sir Keir Starmer’s ratings two months into the job looked, and he’s the best performing Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition two months into the job, that’s some achievement.
There maybe an explanation for this because of the global pandemic and a need for unity, but you could argue that Iain Duncan Smith’s first two months as leader might back that up. His first two were subsumed by the 9/11 attacks and the invasion of Afghanistan but his ratings are closer to Michael Foot & Jeremy Corbyn than they were to Starmer’s rating, so a need for unity doesn’t mean there’s an automaticity in a boost for the Leader of the Opposition.
YouGov have also noted something interesting as well, for the last decade bar a brief period shortly after the 2017 general election, the incumbent Tory Prime Minister has always led on this ‘Best PM’ polling, so for Starmer to make progress is also something to take note off.
Political authority and capital is lot like virginity, once it’s gone, it is bloody difficult to get back. Boris Johnson expending his political capital on Dominic Cummings with a loyalty he’s not previously shown to his wives is one of the great mysteries of life.
None of this means Labour are going to win the next election as things can change, as someone who subscribes to the belief that the oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them, the government’s handling of Covid-19 seems determined to prove that maxim. Perhaps Sir Keir may get unlucky and the Tories ditch Boris Johnson well before the next election.