As part of our “Beyond the Ballot” focus on the pivotal elections taking place around the world over the next year, Portland’s Research team will be conducting regular deep dives into how voters see key issues and personalities. For the first of these, we are taking a look at how voters see the top teams around the two men seeking to be Prime Minister after the next UK general election.
Our research finds that only six members of each top team really have any “cut-through” with the public – and that there are big problems for both parties. For the Tories, the simple fact is that all of their best-known politicians are severely disliked and all of them are men. For Labour, individual politicians have much higher favourability. But major figures in key areas like education and health are still a long way from being household names. Put simply, “Wes who?”
In fact, so low are some awareness ratings that even when we tested a senior Labour shadow cabinet member, we found voters claiming to be more familiar with a made-up shadow cabinet member we invented for the purpose of this experiment.
The Big Six
Conservative; Rishi Sunak, David Cameron, Grant Shapps, Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt, James Cleverly
Labour: Keir Starmer, Rachel Reeves, Ed Miliband, Angela Rayner, Yvette Cooper, David Lammy