Yorkshire voters unconvinced by both Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer

Neither Rishi Sunak nor Sir Keir Starmer has won over Yorkshire’s voters, new polling as suggested, as the county is set to be a “key battleground” for the next general election.

New exclusive polling shows that on almost every key issue facing the country, the people of Yorkshire trust neither political leader to solve the problem.

Research by Bradshaw Advisory found that on crime, immigration and the economy, both the Labour and Tory leader saw almost identical scores for who was trusted more on the issue.

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The polling suggested that Labour had leads of around 10 points over the Conservatives on issues such as housing and the NHS, with leads of around 5 points on the cost of living crisis, the environment and education.

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer.Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer.
Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer.

However, on every topic, apart from the NHS, more of Yorkshire’s voters said they trusted neither men to solve the problem.

The data showed that 41 per cent of voters trusted neither leader on the issue of Yorkshire’s future, almost three times as many who said they placed their trust in the Prime Minister.

“What's clear from our research is that neither Rishi Sunak or Sir Keir Starmer have yet won over Yorkshire voters,” said Tom Lees, Managing Director of Bradshaw Advisory.

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“On most major issues - from crime to the economy - voters do not currently trust either party leader. This means that Yorkshire could be a key battleground for the general election next year and there is certainly a lot to play for.”

On which of the two men would make the most “capable prime minister”, Yorkshire’s voters placed the two leaders almost neck and neck, with 47.9 saying Mr Sunak, while 52.1 said Sir Keir.

One Yorkshire Conservative MP said “With nearly 18 months to go until the expected General Election I look forward to Sir Keir Starmer being at last really scrutinised by the media and voters alike - his plethora of broken policy pledges, his backstabbing of his so called friend Jeremy Corbyn and his nasty negative campaigning has exposed him as having neither the decency of character or moral integrity to lead our country.”

It comes after several comments by Boris Johnson allies over the past week which suggested that he should make a comeback to revitalise the party’s support ahead of a general election.

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At the launch of a new grassroots movement, the Conservative Democratic Organisation (CDO), over the weekend the former home secretary Priti Patel said that the party owed Mr Johnson a “debt of gratitude” for the success in the 2019 election, as she praised the former leader as an “electoral asset”.

“I actually very much hope, I really do, he’s a big campaigner, he’s a big figure, big box office in the grassroots. We will need him to come back and re-galvanise and re-energise the grassroots.”

Yesterday, Jacob Rees-Mogg, who was a cabinet minister under Mr Johnson, criticised the Government’s decision to scale back post-Brexit plans to scrap EU laws.

He told the National Conservatism conference that the repeal so far of EU laws was “pathetically under-ambitious”.

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He said it was “very unfortunate” that Rishi Sunak had broken his promise, adding: “The surrender to the blob risks exposing the Government to ridicule.”

Protesters interrupted both his speech and that of Suella Braverman at the conference yesterday.

However, polling from Bradshaw Advisory suggested that Mr Sunak may actually be more popular than Mr Johnson in Yorkshire seats which the former prime minister won in 2019.

It suggested that 25.7 per cent of voters thought the Prime Minister compared worse to the election-winning former leader, while 41.7 thought that he was doing a better job.