A new YouGov poll asked respondents for their views on the main political parties and leaders.
The poll asked respondents if they saw different parties and party leaders as “very favourable”, “somewhat favourable”, “somewhat unfavourable” or “very unfavourable”.
In what appears to be the first question of its kind to be asked to poll respondents on the new Liberal Democrat leader, Vince Cable performed very poorly indeed.
Just 18% said they had a favourable view of the former coalition minister compared to the striking 45% who said they had an unfavourable view of him. These scores give him a net approval rating of -27%.
As for the incumbent prime minister, her net approval rating is also -27%, with 31% having said they approve of her compared to the damning 58% who said they disapprove. When that is broken down, 37% said they have a very unfavourable view of the prime minister while 21% said they have a somewhat favourable view of her.
Straight up, the poll is the latest in a long string of polls that suggest that the prime minister’s popularity has plummeted. She ended her honeymoon when she called the general election back in April. When her figures are compared to Corbyn’s, it is clear who is more popular although the data clearly shows that Corbyn is a divisive figure.
As for Vince Cable, at first glance, this poll is bad news. Being on a par with a failing prime minister is definitely not where one would want to be during the usual “honeymoon” period. That said, when the figures are examined more closely, 36% of poll respondents said they "did not know" when it came to Vince Cable.
Compare that to the equivalent figure for May: just 8% said they did not know when it came to her.
Vince Cable may not be a popular leader, but the fact that over a third of poll respondents “don’t know” suggests that many have yet to make a judgement about him. Lib Dems will hope that this will over time evaporate, and that many of those “don’t knows” shift into the favourable column.
The situation is not good, but there is hope for the experienced leader.
The full results of the poll can be accessed here (15th - 16th August).