2024 Election hub
Urgent: Appeal Campaign Title here about 10 words here

Jun 20th, 2024

“Urgent questions to answer”: Voters’ verdict as party leaders answer questions from LBC public

By Matthew McGregor

Our latest snap study of voters suggests Keir Starmer did more to impress listeners than Rishi Sunak during radio show LBC’s phone-in with voters – but that voters from all sides want to see more concrete answers, believable pledges and ‘authenticity’ from both leaders.

Our new 38 Degrees research was conducted immediately after the discussion hosted by Nick Ferrari on Tuesday, with pollsters JL Partners using a pioneering update to traditional snap polling to get same-day qualitatively reactions to breaking news. In the study, voters were shown clips of the Conservative and Labour party leaders answering questions on key issues like the cost of living and NHS waiting lists.

Results showed an “overwhelmingly negative” view of Rishi Sunak, in contrast to more “warm words” for Keir Starmer whose “authenticity” was appreciated by listeners. Voters seemed to trust Keir Starmer more on the cost of living crisis and NHS, describing him as less “out of touch”, but some felt the Conservative Party was likely to be “better with money”. 

It’s clear that people across Britain have urgent questions for whoever forms the next Government, and many will be reserving their judgement until they see the impact leaders are able to make on their day-to-day lives.

Here are a selection of results:

Asked who they would trust most to fix the cost of living crisis:

“Neither it seems from their responses that they don’t appreciate the reality of the topics” (Male, I’m unemployed at present, 64, voted Labour in 2019 and is currently a Green voter)

“Keir Starmer – he appears to better understand the causes of COL crisis and explains how things are fully funded. He also appears more genuine and his party have a better record in supporting people” (Male, Compliance Manager, 35, voted Labour in 2019 and is currently a Labour voter)

“Starmer; he is Labour and not seemingly as out of touch with the common people as Sunak is.” (Female, Stay at home mother, 39, voted Did not vote / Prefer not to say in 2019 and is currently a Labour voter)

“Rishi Sunak, because he is not in the Labour Party, who are incompetent” (Male, IT Manager, 31, voted Conservative in 2019 and is currently a Conservative voter)

“KEIR STARMER AS HE IS DOING HIS SUMS” (Male, HGV DRIVER, 66, voted Scottish National Party (SNP) in 2019 and is currently a Another party voter)

Asked who they “trust most” to fix NHS waiting lists:

“Starmer because Sunak cannot avoid 15 years of mismanagement. I cannot forgive my MP for refusing to negotiate with the doctors when he was Health Secretary.” (Female, Infant teacher,  retired, 70, voted Liberal Democrat in 2019 and is currently a Liberal Democrat voter)

“Neither… Rishi has had time to make changes already and hasn’t.  Keir… I’d like to trust, but really dont” (Female, Childminder, 58, voted Liberal Democrat in 2019 and is currently a Reform UK voter)

“Keir Starmer, because the list has only ever grown under Tory rule” (Male, IT Professional, 31, voted Scottish National Party (SNP) in 2019 and is currently a Labour voter)

Asked which party leader performed best:

“Keir performed better and more articulate” (Male, Banker, 34, voted Conservative in 2019 and is currently a Labour voter)

“I would say it was 50 50 – both waffled a fair bit rather than give a straight answer” (Female, Clerical officer retired, 66, voted Conservative in 2019 and is currently a Conservative voter)

“Keir Starmer.  He understood the issues.  Sunak disagreed or rebuffed points made by the callers, proving yet again that he simply doesn’t understand the situation on the ground.” (Male, Exam Invigilator, 67, voted Liberal Democrat in 2019 and is currently a Labour voter)

“Hard to say, it’s easy when Keir is in opposition as he hasn’t governed yet.” (Female, Teacher, 57, voted Conservative in 2019 and is currently a Conservative voter)

Asked for their impression of Rishi Sunak after the phone in:

“A pathetic weak leader not in touch with reality” (Female, It manager, 50, voted Conservative in 2019 and is currently a Labour voter)

“I think he is struggling to know what to do and how to defend the actions of the party ahead of him” (Male, Development Manager, 29, voted Labour in 2019 and is currently a Liberal Democrat voter)

“I think he is competent and a good leader” (Female, Student, 50, voted Conservative in 2019 and is currently a Conservative voter)

Asked for their impression of Keir Starmer after the phone in: 

“I don’t like him but I think  he has to be given a chance to prove himself” (Male, Supermarket manager, 63, voted Conservative in 2019 and is currently a Conservative voter)

“A good kind man who will do his best” (Female, It manager, 50, voted Conservative in 2019 and is currently a Labour voter)

“He is a bit more believable and may make a better PM.” (Female, Arts Director, 77, voted Liberal Democrat in 2019 and is currently a Liberal Democrat voter)

The JL Partners/38 Degrees Rapid Response Voter Panel was used to ask a sample of 110 UK adults online to share their instantaneous reaction to breaking news. In an update on traditional focus groups, JL Partners ask people to explain their views and dig underneath the surface of support or opposition, after presenting them with clips of both Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer answering questions on the NHS and the cost of living in an LBC phone in. The sample is collected using web-intercept polling in accordance with MRS and BPC guidelines and data tables are available shortly after publication.

Share
Discover more

Latest News

View more latest news
Want to make a difference?

Start a petition for…

Myself or my family
Get started
My local community
Get started
A national interest
Get started