Boris Johnson makes a better prime minister than Keir Starmer would – despite Partygate and the cost of living crisis, a damning new poll has revealed.
The figures – compiled by Opinion for the Observer – give the prime minister a two-point lead, and will raise concerns within Labour over the leader’s performance.
It also reveals that Starmer’s Labour holds a narrow two-point lead over the Tories – compared with a three-point lead in the last poll, a fortnight ago.
Labour are on 36 per cent of the vote, with the Tories up one point on 34 per cent; the Lib Dems are on 13 per cent with the Greens on six per cent.
While 28 per cent think Johnson would make the best prime minster, just 26 per cent opted for Starmer.
It follows gloom among Labour MPs over Starmer’s performance at PMQs on Wednesday.
Despite the swirling crisis over Johnson’s leadership, many within Labour found Sir Keir’s performance to be flat – and criticised his line of questioning.
Angela Rayner, the Labour deputy leader, said Starmer is too lawyerly in his public appearances – and should “put some more welly” into his speeches.
‘No sense of the project’
Another shadow minister told the Observer: “He is very much, ‘here is the problem and this is the solution’. But there’s no sense of what the wider project is.”
A senior Labour source added: We know what needs to be done between now and the next election and are ticking everything off on the list.
“If you had said the morning after the 2019 election Labour could be back in one term, people would have laughed at you.
“But the work that Keir has been doing to reform the party, often without fanfare, means that we can seriously talk about winning the next election. The fact we’ve climbed out of the hole we were in was never a given.
“Having dealt with the party machinery at the last conference, the plan was always that the next one will focus on setting out our plans for Britain.
“There’s no complacency but we remain confident of the strategy we have to get Keir to No 10.”