A majority of the public expects Sir Keir Starmer to become prime minister, a new poll has found.
Some 56% of people told pollster Ipsos UK they thought it was “likely” the Labour leader would succeed Rishi Sunak, with only 28% saying they thought it was unlikely.
That figure equals the previous high point for Sir Keir recorded in October 2022, amid chaos on the bond market and the collapse of Liz Truss’s government.
The poll of 1,038 British adults, conducted between August 11 and 13, painted an almost universally positive picture for Labour – and a bleak one for the Conservatives.
As well as public expectation that he will become Prime Minister, Sir Keir continued to lead Mr Sunak on favourability by 30 points to 27, and outpolled his opponent on all but three of 12 key traits Ipsos asked about.
These included whether the two leaders understood the problems facing Britain, with 47% saying Sir Keir did against 32% saying the same of the Prime Minister.
Some 37% said Sir Keir was in touch with ordinary people, against just 17% saying Mr Sunak was, while the Labour leader enjoyed a six-point lead on whether he would make the country a better place.
The two men were tied on 37% as to whether they pay attention to detail, while Mr Sunak led by one point on whether they had “a lot of personality” and by five points on being good in a crisis.
Mr Sunak began his premiership with relatively good favourability ratings, especially compared with his wider party, and some suggested he would therefore be able to improve the Conservatives’ ratings.
However, the Ipsos poll suggests that that has not been the case so far, with Labour the only party to enjoy a net positive favourability rating and 53% of people saying they had an unfavourable image of the Conservative Party.
With just 23% of people saying they had a positive image of the Tories, only Reform UK recorded a worse net favourability rating.
One brighter spot for Mr Sunak is that voters seem much clearer about what he stands for than they do about Sir Keir, with 52% to 46%.
Keiran Pedley, Ipsos director of politics, said: “As it stands, the British public expect Keir Starmer to be Prime Minister. A majority are unfavourable towards the Conservative Party and Starmer leads Rishi Sunak on several key leadership traits.
“However, with many still unsure what Starmer himself stands for, the Labour leader will hope he can set out a compelling vision for the country in the coming months to seal the deal with the electorate.”