Sir John Curtice: despite Tory sleaze Britain unconvinced Starmer has turned Labour around

'We are not enamoured with choice' of PM says Sir John Curtice

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Speaking to GB News on Saturday the University of Strathclyde political boffin noted how despite the allegations of Tory ‘sleaze’ following the Owen Paterson and Sir Geoffrey Cox lobbying row, some voters appear be unflinching in their continued support for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, as he claimed Britons are not “enamoured with choice” for Britain’s leaders.

It comes as the latest poll from YouGov, conducted between November 17 to 18, has seen the Tories edge ahead of Labour to 36 percentage points, while Labour sit at 34, having lost one percentage point from the previous poll.

Discussing the outcomes of a raft of polls, Sir John said: “The last time the parties were roughly neck and neck was roughly twelve months ago.

“Actually look at the numbers on who makes the best Prime Minister and actually both Keir Starmer and Boris Johnson are below 30 percent.”

He stressed that ‘don’t know’ responses to polls are “by far the most popular option” for Britons as he stressed “the truth is that we are not terrible enamoured with choice.”

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Sir John went on to skewer Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer saying that while his party have managed to knock a few percentage points off the Tory lead, a “fundamental problem” for Labour is that “an awful lot of people are still not convinced” by them.

He warned that despite the ongoing sleaze rows within the Tories, Britons are still unable to be won over by the idea that Sir Keir Starmer and his team ”can do a better job” than Boris Johnson.

He explained: “In the end the extent to which the government will or will not hold this government to account for both its successes and its failures in their eyes will also depend on what they make of the alternative before them.”

Sir John also noted how Keir Starmer was meant to “turn Labour around” from the devastating 2019 General Election result under former leader Jeremy Corbyn, but he warned this process is still “very much a project in the making”.

Boris Johnson in 'weak position' in the polls says John Curtice

When asked which party the 1,800 adults polled in the YouGov poll would back if a general election were held tomorrow, 24 percent said the Tories – up two percentage points from the previous poll.

Labour would be supported by 23 percent of voters, while 17 percent said they did not know.

The Labour leader maintains the PM has damaged the state of Parliament over his leadership of the Conservatives throughout the sleaze row.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The Prime Minister has dragged Parliament into the gutter… You can see the anger on his own side, he forced his MPs to do something they knew was wrong, he then got a backlash because he shouldn’t have done it.

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“I think we need to change the rules as we go forward and be absolutely clear that the default position going forward is no second jobs for MPs with those limited exceptions where there’s a public service element.”

Former North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson resigned after he was found to be in “egregious” breach of MPs standards by a Parliamentary Committee for his lobbying activity which earned him over £500,000.

An attempt by Boris Johnson to save Mr Paterson’s skin by changing the rule book was initially pushed through but quickly u-turned on following a massive backlash. 

While Sir Geoffrey Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, earned over £1 million this year representing the British Virgin Islands in a corruption case against the UK. He has not broken any rules for his second jobs. Boris Johnson has now laid out plans to rein in MPs’ second jobs but the move has been ridiculed by opponents as not being tough enough.

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