EXCLUSIVE: Labour leader Keir Starmer is less effective than Marcus Rashford at holding Government to account over Covid, poll finds
- Only 29 per cent claimed the Labour leader was doing a good job at scrutinising
- A majority thought Manchester United star’s campaigns kept ministers in check
- An Ipsos Mori survey shared exclusively polled 1,083 adults over the weekend
Voters think Sir Keir Starmer has been worse at holding ministers to account during the pandemic than Marcus Rashford, MailOnline can reveal.
An Ipsos Mori poll shared exclusively with this website saw only 29 per cent of respondents claim the Labour leader was doing a good job at keeping the Government in check.
Meanwhile a majority thought the Manchester United star’s free school meals crusade, which forced a memorable climbdown, has offered effective opposition.
The poll asked 1,083 adults over the weekend to cast judgement on how effectively institutions and certain figures were probing the Government’s handling of the crisis.
An Ipsos Mori poll shared exclusively with this website saw only 29 per cent of respondents claim the Labour leader was doing a good job in Opposition
While less than a third of people commended Sir Keir for his efforts in taking ministers to task, 30 per cent were on the fence, 16 per cent said he was doing a bad job, and 12 per cent said he was doing an awful job.
Comparisons with polling last April, when Sir Keir was elected Labour leader, show people have formed slightly firmer opinions of him.
Last year 56 per cent of respondents were ambivalent or put they did not know how effective an Opposition he was, whereas this month the percentage was 43.
Voters instead hailed 23-year-old Rashford as offering more scrutiny after ministers bowed to his campaign that free school meals continue to be delivered in the holidays.
Thirty-four per cent of respondents thought Rashford was doing a very good job at holding the Government to account, 22 per cent thought he was doing a good job, 19 per cent were ambivalent and only 18 per cent thought he was ineffective.
Weeks ago the Prime Minister himself commended Rashford for shining a light on the meagre free school meals parcels being sent to the poorest children.
Taking a swipe at Sir Keir during their weekly PMQs clash, Mr Johnson said: I’m grateful to Marcus Rashford who highlighted the issue and is doing quite an effective job by comparison with the right honourable gentleman in holding the Government to account for these issues.’
Ipsos Mori CEO Ben Page said: ‘He is helped by the fact that he is campaigning on a simple issue – free school meals – that neatly encapsulates the sharpened inequalities that Covid-19 has revealed.’
Voters think Sir Keir Starmer has been worse at holding ministers to account during the pandemic than Marcus Rashford and Piers Morgan
GMB presenter Morgan, whose blistering on-air attacks on the Government have consistently gone viral during the pandemic, was believed to be adept at holding ministers feet to the fire by 32 per cent of those polled.
Only 25 per cent thought he was not doing a good job, while 43 per cent were on the fence or said they didn’t know.
Morgan grabbed headlines this week after clashing with Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey over the UK’s harrowing coronavirus death toll.
The poll also showed more people narrowly thought Tory MPs were holding the Government to account better than the Labour Party, by a margin of 24 per cent to 23 per cent.
But 44 per cent of respondents actively registered their displeasure with Conservative backbenchers, while most did not have strong opinions on the efforts of Labour.
A hawkish band of Conservative MPs in the Covid Research Group have been agitating for looser lockdown measures and mounted various rebellions against moves to tighten restrictions.
Twenty-five per cent thought MPs as a whole were effectively holding ministers accountable, while 31 per cent thought broadcast journalists were doing well and 25 per cent for newspaper journalists.
The poll asks hard questions of Sir Kier, who has consistently supported the Government’s lockdown, albeit criticising Mr Johnson for acting too late.
The Prime Minister has taken to nicknaming the Labour leader ‘Captain Hindsight’ during their fiery Commons exchanges, with the charge he only decides his stance retrospectively.
Sir Keir had been calling for a national ‘circuit-breaker’ before the PM announced the November lockdown.
But he was left red-faced this week when Labour urged ministers to do something that was already Government policy – commit to reopening schools when the earliest set of restrictions are lifted.
Poll results: How effective have these people been at holding the Government to account over Covid?
Sir Keir Starmer
Very good: 8% Good: 22% Neither good/bad: 30% Bad: 16% Very bad: 12% Don’t know: 13%
Very good: 34% Good: 22% Neither good/bad: 19% Bad: 5% Very bad: 12% Don’t know: 16%
Very good: 11% Good: 21% Neither good/bad: 27% Bad: 13% Very bad: 12% Don’t know: 16%
Very good: 4% Good: 20% Neither good/bad: 19% Bad: 5% Very bad: 3% Don’t know: 16%
The Labour Party
Very good: 5% Good: 18% Neither good/bad: 33% Bad: 21% Very bad: 14% Don’t know: 9%
Members of Parliament
Very good: 3% Good: 21% Neither good/bad: 32% Bad: 24% Very bad: 14% Don’t know: 6%
Very good: 5% Good: 26% Neither good/bad: 33% Bad: 19% Very bad: 10% Don’t know: 6%
Very good: 4% Good: 22% Neither good/bad: 31% Bad: 23% Very bad: 13% Don’t know: 8%
Source: Ipsos Mori poll of 1,083 British adults January 22-Februay