Politics

Rishi Sunak approval rating: Brits turn on Chancellor as spring statement falls flat

BBC viewer hits out at Rishi Sunak interview

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his long-awaited spring statement on Wednesday, March 23, outlining Government plans to cushion the cost of living blow. The next few years will see Britons face the worst cost of living squeeze since the 1950s as they fight rising prices and taxes. The public is unhappy with the limited aid offered by the Chancellor and has dealt a hammer blow to his future leadership chances.

Mr Sunak’s lauded response to Covid saw him become the UK’s most popular politician in early 2022, as the furlough scheme and Universal Credit uplift held him aloft above other Conservatives.

After both expired, the British populace looked to him again for more creative solutions to another national crisis.

But his spring statement policies, which included a 5p fuel duty cut and eventual National Insurance boost on top of his previous announcements, failed to impress.

National backlash has rendered him one of the least popular politicians with a negative approval rating.

According to UK-based pollster YouGov, his net favourability held strong near 50 percent when Covid debuted in 2020.

He has peaked and troughed since then, crossing into negative territory in late 2021, where he remained around -5 percent until the statement on Wednesday.

Just days following his address in the House of Commons, he has hit his lowest rate of -15 percent.

He has sunk 10 points over the last week, showing his unpopularity, with even Conservative voters losing faith.

While he was resting at 41 points in the previous survey conducted by YouGov, he has now lost 12.

His new rate of 29 points means his chances of eventually succeeding Boris Johnson have slimmed down.

The Prime Minister is currently one of the least popular politicians in the UK, with his net approval of -34 percent.

While he ventured into negative territory in June 2021, the Partygate scandal took him further into the depths.

Although he had recovered slightly since then, likely due to his support for Ukraine, he remained intensely unpopular amongst the British electorate.

The question of his leadership loomed large on the minds of millions who spent months behind closed doors while Number 10 staffers hosted drinking events.

Mr Sunak was one of several Tory rising stars tipped to replace him, and he has not ruled out running as leader.

When quizzed about the prospect on Friday by Sky News’ political editor Beth Rigby, the Chancellor only said he was “really focused” on his current job.

With his voter base falling away, however, he may struggle to find significant success as a leadership candidate.

Other senior Conservatives, such as foreign and defence secretaries Liz Truss and Ben Wallace, remain more likely options.

According to YouGov’s popularity analysis, Ms Truss has gained popularity in recent weeks, rising from another negative rating of -29 percent to -26 percent.

Polling guru Sir John Curtice recently tipped Mr Wallace as favourite to replace the Prime Minister, claiming he has “come up best” from his part in the Ukraine crisis.

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