politics

Britain enjoying greatest ever surge in economic optimism amid Covid-19 vaccine rollout, poll shows


For the first time since 2015, slightly more people think things will improve over the coming year than think they will get worse, found the research by Ipsos MORI in tonight’s Standard.

The survey reveals Boris Johnson has benefitted from the sunnier mood, taking the Conservatives to a seven-point lead over Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party. The Conservatives have put on three points since February and are on a high 45 per cent, with Labour unchanged on 38, the Liberal Democrats down a point to six, and the Greens down three points to five per cent.

Sir Keir’s ratings have dipped sharply in the past month, turning negative for the first time since he became leader last April. More people are unhappy with his performance than are happy with it.

Woundingly, only 53 per cent of Labour supporters now say he “has what it takes to be a good PM”, down from 60 per cent a month ago.

Key findings in the gripping data include:

* Britain has jumped from deep gloom to net optimism about the economy in just a month, almost certainly because of the vaccine programme. The proportion of people who think things will get better in the next 12 months has jumped from 29 per cent to 43 per cent. At the same time, the proportion who think things will get worse has dropped from 60 per cent to 41. Ipsos MORI, which has tracked economic optimism every month since 1978, said the 16.5-point swing was the biggest upwards surge in a month it had seen, only exceeded by the downwards fall when the pandemic was declared last year. Men are more optimistic than women (50 per cent v 36 per cent), while older people, better-off people and Conservative supporters are also more optimistic than younger people, poorer social groups and Labour backers.

* A thumping 88 per cent think the Government has done a good job getting the public vaccinated as soon as possible, up from 78 last month. Even 85 per cent of Labour supporters agree.

* Boris Johnson is ahead of Sir Keir Starmer as the “most capable PM” by 47 per cent to 37 per cent – an improvement from 43 – 38 in June last year.

* Asked if Johnson had what it takes to be a good Prime Minister, 43 per cent agreed, (up one point since February), and 45 per cent disagreed.

* Asked if Sir Keir has what it takes to be a good PM, 30 per cent agreed (down six points) and 35 per cent disagreed (up 10 points). It is the first time that this rating has been negative for Starmer.



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