Home   Kent   News   Article

Opinion: Rishi Sunak’s ratings take a dive after he delays phasing out of petrol and diesel cars, writes Paul Francis

He may have expected a better reception for his decision to change the timescale for phasing out petrol and diesel cars but voters can be pretty unforgiving when it comes to U-turns on key policy pledges.

Rishi Sunak might have hoped to bathe in the warm glow of a reverse gear that he had announced as pragmatic and practical. And would according to his calculations, save the average family £1,500 a year.

Paul Francis gives his view on the latest in politics
Paul Francis gives his view on the latest in politics

The polls put an abrupt end to that: his ratings took a dive after his net zero U-turn.

Maybe he was paying the price of ignoring voters who had other priorities; but interestingly it was not just him who was slipping in subsequent polls - Keir Starmer, too, saw his personal ratings take a dive. One poll said his rating had taken a tumble from - 19 to - 25 since August.

All of which point to, well, what? Voters like to flex their muscles nearer elections, we know that.

But what we can't know is how and who voters intend to back when it comes to the real ballot.

Which brings us to a question about the issues that do matter to voters – one of which is what the parties intend to do about sewage being pumped into rivers and seas. Are they aligned with would-be supporters and floating voters?

Some polling indicates a gap. A survey by Survation found that in South Thanet, currently represented by Conservative Craig Mackinlay, but a key Labour target, 56% said it would be a key issue when they were deciding to vote; while in Labour-held Canterbury it was 65%.

These are unusually high for an issue which until now has not featured in election campaigns with quite the same profile.

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss
Former Prime Minister Liz Truss

Meanwhile, there was plenty of coverage of Liz Truss in the media on the back of it being a year since her calamitous stint at Downing Street.

Did we really need reminding that she took the UK to the brink of bankruptcy and a financial meltdown that many have and are still paying the price for?

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More