Good Thursday afternoon,
It’s time to take a look at the polls! Each week, Magnified delivers insights and analysis straight to your inbox, allowing you to stay up to date on what the public think about the most important issues of the day. Keep reading for the latest updates on our weekly trackers, as well as our national and international polls—this week, we take an in-depth look at the Green Party in Germany and explore the factors that contribute to its recent surge in the polls.
This week, our research also covered:
- German Chancellor candidates approval
- Coronavirus updates for Germany and France
- Environmentalism in Great Britain
- USA Biden Administration approval ratings
Westminster Voting Intention
Conservative 45% (+5)
Labour 34% (-4)
Liberal Democrat 8% (+1)
Scottish National Party 4% (–)
Green 5% (–)
Reform UK 2% (-1)
Plaid Cymru 0% (-1)
Other 2% (+1)
Changes +/- 3 May
All Net Approval Ratings
Rishi Sunak: +32 (+4)
Boris Johnson: +17% (+11)
Keir Starmer: -7% (-6)
Changes +/- 3 May
Mirroring gains made in local elections across England, our latest GB Voting Intention polls finds the Conservatives widening their lead to 45%—up 5 points compared to last week. So far, it appears that stories on Tory sleaze, which we wrote about here, have not yet had a negative impact on peoples’ likelihood to vote Conservative if a General Election were to be held in the near future.
On the contrary—Boris Johnson’s net approval rating is positive for the fourteenth week in a row. With the vaccination rollout and the progressive loosening of lockdown restrictions across England going ahead as planned, the Prime Minister’s handling of the coronavirus crisis is likely an important factor explaining this level of public satisfaction.
Labour, on the other hand, see their share of the vote drop to 34% (-4) in our poll—giving the Tories an 11-point lead overall. Labour’s loss of a Westminster seat to the Tories in the Hartlepool by-election might not have come as a significant surprise but is dramatic nonetheless: The latest set of elections marked the first test of voter opinion on Keir Starmer since he became party leader last year and would have been a chance for a reset—but things are looking far from rosy.
In fact, at -7% (-6), we register Keir Starmer’s lowest net approval rating since he assumed his leadership role. Mixed messages of Starmer wanting to take “full responsibility” for Labour’s election results while also sacking deputy Angela Rayner from her role as chairman and national campaign coordinator make for a Labour PR nightmare. If anything, this lack of clarity is likely to lay Keir Starmer open to attack, both from outside and from within his own Party, and is hardly likely to improve voter confidence.
Our Global Data
Great Britain: While 2019 Conservative voters rate their alignment with the Conservative Party under Boris Johnson a 6.1 out of 10 on average on, 2019 Labour voters rate their alignment with the Labour Party under Keir Starmer a 5.1 out of 10. Read more about these differences in alignment here.
Great Britain: 57% of Britons would be more likely to vote for a party that does not campaign for re-joining the EU than one that does Yet, 65% would also be more likely to vote for a party that aims for warmer relations with the EU. Read more here.
France: 44% of French respondents think the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is yet to come, whereas only 18% of Britons adopt this pessimistic view. Read more about the French public’s attitude to the pandemic here.
Germany: 55% of Germans would support a change in Germany’s electoral system so that the Chancellor is elected directly by the voters. At the same time, 49% of Germans also say they approve of the current electoral system used for Federal Elections. Read more here.
Are you a journalist needing a stat for your latest piece? We can be your resource—our polling covers hundreds of issues in multiple countries each week. If you are working on an article on a topical issue, chances are we have already asked the public about it. Get in touch and we’ll share our polling data with you!
Long Exposure: In-Depth Analysis
Questions Of Sustainability: Can The Hype Around The German Green Party Last?
After years of being stuck in a slumber, German politics are suddenly shaping up to be interesting again. With Angela Merkel set to step down from the political stage and Federal Elections scheduled for 26 September, the race for her succession is open—and our latest voting intention research conducted in Germany finds the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)/Christian Social Union (CSU) virtually tied with Alliance 90/The Greens, with 22% of Germans saying they will vote for the CDU/CSU and 21% saying they will vote for Alliance 90/The Greens. To put this into context: In 2017, the Greens entered the Bundestag as the smallest parliamentary group, with 8.9% of votes. Today, we take a look at what drives this wave of enthusiasm surrounding the Green Party to assess whether this hype is sustainable or not.
At its core, the rise of the Greens is the symptom of a society divided: The Greens provide an ideological rallying point for those who define themselves in antithesis to the anti-liberal views of Germany’s new far-right AfD (Alternative for Germany). Germany’s two biggest traditional parties fail to do this to the same extent: For the conservative CDU/CSU, internal conflict on how far to the right the party should go in its attempt to reach the most moderate AfD voters causes doubts among centrist voters, and where the social-democratic SPD is concerned, years of grand coalitions with the CDU/CSU have watered down the party’s image to such an extent that many voters struggle to know what the SPD, on its own, stands for anymore.
Moreover, the Greens are open to all sides. Since its first participation in a governing coalition at the federal level in 1998 with the SPD, the party has not been shy to experiment. They currently co-govern eleven of Germany’s sixteen states in a multitude of different coalitions, which has allowed them to gain crucial governing experience and foment their image as pragmatic, rather than dogmatic. This willingness to work with a variety of partners—with the explicit exception of the AfD—further increases the likelihood that the next German government will be tinted green.
In addition, with issues such as environmental protection and climate change now firmly established on the agenda of mainstream politics in Germany, the Party benefits from the high degree of credibility it enjoys in this issue area—we are talking about the Greens, after all. With our latest research showing that 55% of Germans perceive climate change as a direct threat to the country, the Greens capture the zeitgeist of 2020s Germany like no other party—which translates into further gains in the polls.
Lastly, the Green Party symbolises change—for which there is demand in a country in which the political memory of an entire generation of young voters does not extend beyond the ‘era Merkel’, there is demand for change (in fact, 41% of Germans are in favour of instituting a two-term limit for the office of Chancellor). The Green party can capitalise on this demand: our research shows that voters are most likely to associate Green candidate for Chancellor Annalena Baerbock with the quality of representing change, with other parties’ candidates trailing far behind. Over the longer term, the real challenge here will be for the Party to prove its ability to reconcile different social demands and to also address the concerns of groups beyond its mainly left-leaning liberal, urban, pro-European base.
For the time being, the Green Party and their candidate for Chancellor, Annalena Baerbock, are riding high in the polls as a result of these confluence of all these factors. To the extent that none of these factors are particularly temporary in nature, we are inclined to think that the hype around the Green Party is relatively sustainable. But of course, much can happen between now and September.
What is certain is that we will keep an eye on how public opinion evolves – and as a subscriber to our insights email, you will be the first to get exclusive access to our analytical take on future developments in this regard.
Perspective: The RWS Take On The News
- OUR TAKE: Our latest research conducted in France, we find that vaccine hesitancy in the country is slowly decreasing: 44% of French respondents who have not yet had their jabs now say they will get themselves vaccinated, compared to 37% in February. At the same time, 86% of respondents say it which specific vaccine they receive matters to them, and over half (55%) of respondents say they would feel unsafe taking the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. This is in stark contrast with high levels of trust in the AstraZeneca vaccine we observe in Great Britain. Read our in-depth analysis of the situation in France here, and see how the British public think about vaccines here.
The Economist: “Future of the Union: From United Kingdom to Untied Kingdom”
- OUR TAKE: Our latest research on British views on independence referenda in the UK’s devolved nations reveals the public is split on the issue but also highlights that attachment to the Union remains strong overall – a plurality of 45% of responders across Great Britain think it would be a bad thing if the Union were to break up. The Kingdom is not quite untied yet. Read our in-depth analysis here.
7 Days in the media
Each week we bring you the top stories from the media that have featured our research.
Bigger than Blair! Tory surge sees Labour in tatters – Starmer crisis deepens in new poll
Daily Express | 10 May 2021
London Playbook: Hart in your mouth — Spin when you’re winning — EasyJab
Politico | 4 May 2021
Inequality “morally unjust” and “economically stupid”, says Starmer
Labour List | 4 May 2021
Keir Starmer vows to clean up British politics after Tory sleaze rows
The Guardian | 3 May 2021
Most Read Case Studies This Week
Latest GB Voting Intention (10 May 2021)
10 May 2021 (5 min read)
Latest GB Voting Intention (3 May 2021
3 May 2021 (5 min read)
Almost Half of British Public Approves of UK Government’s Efforts to Address Climate Change
7 May 2021 (8 min read)
Only One Third of British Public Supports Creating Regional Parliaments in England
5 May 2021 (3 min read)
British Views on Independence Referenda in the Devolved Nations
5 May 2021 (6 min read)
Our Research on Social Media
Top 5 This Week
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Would the British public support or oppose more nuclear power stations being built in the UK? (see full tweet)
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