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UK Insights

Theresa May seen as decisive and a good negotiator, while Jeremy Corbyn is seen as more in touch with ordinary people’s lives

Luke Taylor

Head of Social and Political Attitudes

GE 09.05.2017 / 15:30

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A Kantar Public view on the 2017 General Election

When asked to associate characteristics with either Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn, the British public were most likely to think of Theresa May as decisive (72% vs 28% Jeremy Corbyn), a good negotiator (66% vs 34%), and having good attention to detail (66% vs 34%). In contrast, Jeremy Corbyn is more likely to be seen as is in touch with ordinary people (57% vs 43% Theresa May) and interested in other people’s lives (55% vs 45%).

This view of Theresa May chimes with broader perceptions about which party is best placed to manage the UK economy – twice as many see the Conservatives as the best party for this, compared to Labour (30% vs 15%). However, the British public are far from convinced by either party, with 15% choosing another party and 39% saying they don’t know which party would be best to manage the UK economy.

When it comes to voting intentions for the upcoming General Election, the Conservative lead has slipped slightly to 44% (-4) although they remain significantly ahead of Labour who are on 28% (+4), as well as the Lib Dems on 11% (NC) and UKIP on 8% (+1).  However, one in ten (11%) likely voters are still unsure who they will vote for on June 8th and 5% prefer not to say who they will vote for.

While one-in-ten likely voters have yet to decide how they will vote, it seems unlikely that these individuals will swing the electoral balance towards the Labour party. Those that have not expressed a voting intention are currently more likely to associate Theresa May than Jeremy Corbyn with being a good negotiator (67%), being decisive (68%) and having good attention to detail (67%). These skills are likely to be important to voters because they know they are not just voting for a party but (indirectly) for a Prime Minister to negotiate the UK’s exit from the EU. The recent campaign appearances from Theresa May suggest that she has cottoned on to this fact.

Twitter and Facebook users continue to engage the most with the official Labour party account. Over the last week the @UKLabour Twitter account has had twice as many retweets as the @Conservatives account (28,551 compared with 14,371). On Facebook, posts made by the Labour party have been shared 58,049 times over the last week, whereas posts made by the Conservatives have only been shared 16,404 times.

Source : Kantar Public

Editor's Notes

In order to have a better understanding of electoral trends and movements and to highlight the key factors of confidence and/or uncertainties our electoral research and analyses are based on multiple sources (polls and social media).

Voting intentions reflect the state of the opinion at the moment when the interviews were realised and should therefore not be considered as predictive of the final result of the election.


Download the survey data and further details on the methodological approach here.

1,201 interviews were conducted online among adults living in Great Britain between the 4th May and 8th May 2017. Interviews were conducted using the Kantar TNS Omnibus, which uses the Lightspeed access panel as its sample source.

The data was weighted to match population totals for age, gender, working status, 2015 General Election voting patterns, 2016 EU referendum voting patterns, education, region, and likelihood to vote in the next General Election. Our voting intention figures have been adjusted to take into account likely turnout patterns at the General Election.


Download the social media data and further details on the methodological approach here.

The Facebook analysis is based on the interactions with the official Facebook pages of the main political parties and their leaders between the 24th April and 7th May 2017.

The Twitter analysis is based on the “buzz” generated by original tweets authored by the official Twitter accounts of the main political parties and their leaders between the 24th April and 7th May 2017.


For more information, please contact us.

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