British perceptions on Sunak’s five key pledges ahead of Tory Party Conference

YouGov polling has shown how the British public break down the five pledges of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – with inflation and NHS waiting times top of the list.

The data also showed who Brits perceive to be more competent on certain issues out of the leaders of the two main parties.

As the Conservative Party Conference commences in Manchester this weekend, much will be made of these key issues which have dominated the political landscape in recent times.

Of Sunak’s five key policy issues, 60% of the Brits polled selected reducing inflation and cutting NHS waiting lists as their key priority — 30% apiece.

There was a sharp drop to the next issue, stopping small boats, which saw just 16% of those polled saying that was the most crucial policy.

Encouraging economic growth came in fourth, with 14%, followed by reducing the national debt, which registered a paltry 4%.

These figures changed significantly when broken down by age and political allegiance.

While reducing the national debt and encouraging economic growth do not alter greatly by either age or politics, the other three priorities do.

Reducing inflation appears to be a key issue for younger voters. Nearly half (46%) of 18-24 said it was their most important factor, declining to 37% for 25–49 year olds, 24% for 50-64 year olds and 16% for the 65+ bracket.

In contrast, stopping small boats and cutting NHS waiting lists appear to trend in the opposite direction. As age increases, so does the importance of these two issues.

In terms of how politics separates these issues, Conservative voters value stopping small boats the most, with 32% selecting that issue as their priority, followed by 23% for both cutting NHS waiting lists and reducing inflation.

Just 16% selected encouraging economic growth and 3% reducing the national debt.

For Labour voters, cutting NHS waiting lists was the priority of 46%, whilst reducing inflation was second with 28%.

Encouraging economic growth registered just 13% of Labour voters, whilst stopping small boats and reducing the national debt were in single digits.

A graph showing the partisan difference of opinion on Sunak’s five key pledges

In terms of the public’s perception of the two main party leaders, the YouGov polling found that Labour leader Keir Starmer has a lead in most policy areas.

Starmer has a lead of 22 percentage points over Sunak on the NHS, 18 percentage points on education and 20 on housing.

He also has smaller, but substantial, leads on tax, law and order and immigration. The two leaders were tied on the economy and defence, whilst Sunak had a one percentage point lead over Starmer on Brexit.

The data also found Sunak underperforms his party on issues defence and law and order, with the public suggesting the party would deal with problems in these areas better than the party leader.

It is clear that there is plenty of work for the Conservative Party to do and they will be hoping to use their conference in Manchester to change public perception on these issues, as we edge ever closer to a general election.

Main image courtesy of: Marcin Nowak via Unsplash

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