Rishi Sunak has helped his party begin a fight back in approval ratings in his first week as Prime Minister, a new poll claims.
Opinium’s latest poll shows that Labour’s lead has dropped six points from 27 to 16, while the Tories have gained five back.
Keir Starmer’s Labour now commands the support of 44% of voters, compared to 28% backing the Conservatives.
While that would still result in a comfortable Labour win if replicated at a future general election, it represents a change in fortunes following Liz Truss’s doomed premiership.
Mr Sunak has begun his premiership with 31% approving of the job he’s doing, compared with 23% who disapprove. Mr Starmer enjoys 35% approval with 29% disapproval.
Just over half of the people surveyed – 54% – think Labour will win the next general election, while 21% believe the Tory Party would be victorious.
Meanwhile, two-thirds (66%t) do not think the government is in control of the economic situation.
Adam Drummond, Head of Political and Social Research at Opinium said: “The Conservatives under Rishi Sunak are doing better than they were under Liz Truss but Truss set the bar so low that it’s effectively a speed bump.
“The Tories have seen big jumps in the proportion of Britons trusting them to handle various big issues but from such a low base that Labour are still ahead on most.”
The Conservative brand remains heavily damaged, he adds, with the public giving the new prime minister “the benefit of the doubt”.
Earlier today, Cabinet minister Michael Gove apologised for the Conservatives making the “wrong choice” and putting Ms Truss in charge.
The Levelling Up Secretary, a vocal critic of the former prime minister’s tax-slashing plans that threw markets into turmoil, said he understood people’s anger about the chaos of recent months.
In an op-ed in The Sun on Sunday, Mr Gove wrote: “We made the wrong choice this summer about the path we should take.
“Plans to cut taxes targeted on the richest were a holiday from reality.
“A mini-budget that didn’t explain how spending plans would be paid for was an error. To put it mildly.”
Mr Gove was sacked by Boris Johnson in the summer and supported Mr Sunak during his leadership bid, who reappointed him into his Cabinet position.
Mr Gove said the new Prime Minister “has the experience, competence and compassion to steer us through the choppy economic waters ahead”.
He wrote: “I know that he will not just get the big calls ahead right, but that he will make them with those struggling the most at the forefront of his mind.”