The latest Ipso/MORI poll suggests one in two Britons now dislike Ms Swinson, with the 39-year-old regarded favourably by just 19 percent – lower than either Tory leader Boris Johnson (33 percent), Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn or Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (both 24 percent). In total, 1,134 British adults were interviewed online between November 22 and 25 – after Ms Swinson’s appearance on BBC Question Time, in which she was grilled by members of the public. The figures suggest 50 percent of GB adults now have an unfavourable opinion of Ms Swinson, who was elected as her party’s leader earlier this year.
The figure has risen by nine points compared with a week ago.
There was more bad news for the party as a whole – 49 percent now have an unfavourable opinion of the Lib Dems, up seven points compared with last week.
Ipsos MORI research director Keiran Pedley said: “It’s been a tough week for the Lib Dems, with Jo Swinson seeing her personal favourability ratings fall significantly, driven by falling favourability among Remain rather than Leave voters.
“Meanwhile, Labour sees the proportion of GB adults saying that the party is having a good campaign steadily improve over time.
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson on Question Time
Jo Swinson’s favourability rating has dropped nine points in a week
“In this context, Labour will be optimistic that they can continue to squeeze the Lib Dem vote share in voting intention polls and close the gap with the Conservatives somewhat.
“However, whether they can do so enough to prevent a Conservative majority at this election remains to be seen.”
Ms Swinson was put on the spot during the Question Time special on Thursday when she was challenged about her commitment to scrapping Brexit “on day one” by an audience member, who asked: “Is revoking Article 50 confirming to 17.4 million people that you think we’re stupid and don’t know what we voted for?”
She replied: “Not for one second do I think that means you or anyone like you is stupid. I think it means we disagree.”
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However, the audience member shot back: “You can disagree with me but you lost.
“You don’t get to keep disagreeing with me.”
Even a Remainer in the audience, who claimed to have “wished the last three years never happened” skewered Ms Swinson’s plans to revoke Article 50 as “undemocratic”.
The audience member said: “You are not saying we will go back to the people, you are unilaterally saying ‘Revoke it’.
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“It’s undemocratic from somebody who wishes the last three and a half years had never happened.
“That is the quintessential difference between the pair of us.”
Ms Swinson was subsequently mocked by the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday after she suggested she could become prime minister by taking her 20 current MPs to win more than 300 seats.
Favourability ratings, according to Ipso MORI
Mr Marr drily observed: “It is just possible you won’t get a majority”.
The poll also suggested Prime Minister Boris Johnson is still the most popular party leader – although his figure of 33 has dropped by three points compared with last week, while his unfavourability rating has increased from 44 percent to 47 percent.
Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn has seen his favourability rating rise slightly, up two points compared with a week ago, while his unfavourability rating is down one, from 60 to 59, the highest of the four leaders included in the survey.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage
Just 34 percent of adults are favourable towards the Conservative Party, with 43 percent unfavourable, net score of -9 compared with -8 last week, but significantly better than Labour, for whom the figures at 30 percent and 51 percent respectively, a net score of -21, two points better awn last week.
In total, 59 percent expect either a Conservative majority government or a hung Parliament with the Tories as the biggest party.
However, the NHS is seen as the most important issue (62 percent), slightly higher than Brexit on 57 percent.