Liz Truss Slumps in Popularity Polls With Voting Closed

·2 min read

(Bloomberg) -- Support for Liz Truss is waning among the British electorate even before her expected appointment as prime minister next week, according to two recent polls.

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Only 12% of Britons expect Truss to be a good or great leader, while 52% expect her to be poor or terrible, according to YouGov. Britons are split on whether she’d be a better prime minister than predecessor Boris Johnson, but tend to think she’d be worse than every other premier going back to Margaret Thatcher.

Polling by Opinium for Sunday’s Observer newspaper showed that 31% of people who voted Conservative in the 2019 landslide election win thought Truss looked like “a prime minister in waiting” at the end of August, compared with 49% at the beginning of the month. The decline was broadly similar when Britons were asked whether Truss, currently foreign secretary, was competent or likable.

The polls reinforce how damaging the leadership debates have been for Truss and her rival, former chancellor Rishi Sunak, as well as for the ruling Conservative Party. With inflation soaring and the country heading into recession, the government has yet to come up with any solution to the biggest cost-of-living crisis in decades.

Much of Truss’s rhetoric on the hustings has focused on cutting taxes and criticizing the notion of government “handouts,” both topics designed to appeal to the 160,000 or so party members who have been voting for Johnson’s replacement. The winner is announced Monday.

READ: Even Liz Truss Supporters Worry She Could Wreak Havoc for the UK

Regarding Johnson, only 22% of Britons consider his legacy as leader to be good or great, with 55% assessing his time in charge as poor or terrible, according to YouGov.

In a general survey of voting intention, Opinium said the Tories have narrowed the gap with Labour to 4 points since mid-August.

(Adds Opinium poll from first paragraph)

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