In Brief

Keir Starmer closing in on Boris Johnson in polls

Labour leader’s popularity increasing as public support for government’s handling of coronavirus crisis plummets

Boris Johnson’s approval rating has fallen by seven points in less than a fortnight, as rival Keir Starmer’s popularity continues to grow, latest polling figures show.

A Times/YouGov survey found that when asked who would make the best prime minister, 39% of the public backed the man already in the job - down from 46% in early May.

By contrast, the number backing Starmer rose from 22% to 27% in the same period. The increase in the Labour leader’s popularity follows a series of strong performances against Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Starmer’s questioning has left the PM “rattled”, according to The New European. Indeed, “Johnson was left looking exposed and diminished” after their first Commons encounter, says The Guardian.

The swing in popularity also coincides with a drop in public approval for the government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

YouGov data “shows that at the end of last week 49% thought the government was doing badly, and 47% that it was doing well”, reports Sky News

A separate Kantar poll found that 43% of those surveyed rated the government’s response to the health crisis as “fairly or very poor, up from 30% in April”, says Reuters.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For a round-up of the most important stories from around the world - and a concise, refreshing and balanced take on the week’s news agenda - try The Week magazine. Start your trial subscription today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Yet there is still a significant gap between the two parties in terms of overall support, with the Tories well ahead.

The Times reports that when asked who they would vote for if there was an election tomorrow, 48% of survey respondents chose the Conservatives, while 33% chose Labour.

Recommended

What is going on in women’s prisons?
A female prison officer in HM Prison Styal
Getting to grips with . . .

What is going on in women’s prisons?

Ryan Giggs trial: lockdown ‘utter hell’ for ex
Ryan Giggs outside Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court
In Depth

Ryan Giggs trial: lockdown ‘utter hell’ for ex

Eurovision venue odds: the cities most likely to host the song contest
Kalush Orchestra
In Depth

Eurovision venue odds: the cities most likely to host the song contest

How the UK’s droughts compare with the rest of the world
Low water levels at Baitings Reservoir in West Yorkshire
Global lens

How the UK’s droughts compare with the rest of the world

Popular articles

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Will China invade Taiwan?
Chinese troops on mobile rocket launchers during a parade in Beijing
Fact file

Will China invade Taiwan?

Why The Satanic Verses is still controversial
Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses
Getting to grips with . . .

Why The Satanic Verses is still controversial

The Week Footer Banner