Labour’s advantage diminishes by 13 points in poll revealing voters’ primary concern is the NHS.

Sunak’s approval experiences a slight increase after surviving a potential rebellion over the Rwanda bill.
The latest Opinium poll for the Observer shows that Labour’s lead over the Conservatives is now at 13 points, the lowest since before the party conferences.
Both Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak’s approval ratings have remained steady following a significant decline last week. Starmer’s net approval is now -9, while Sunak’s net approval is now -29, showing a 3-point increase from the previous week.
This comes after Sunak and his whips successfully prevented a potential Tory rebellion regarding the plans to transfer some asylum seekers to Rwanda. Despite weeks of internal strife within the Tories, no Conservatives rebelled against the bill last week.
Although the Labour lead has decreased, it still maintains a double-digit advantage as the country enters an election year. According to the latest poll, Labour has a 40% share of the vote, compared to 27% for the Conservatives. Starmer also holds a slight edge over Sunak in terms of voters’ preference for the next prime minister, leading by six points. However, a higher number of voters opt for “none of these.”
While some Tories have expressed concerns about Sunak’s leadership for the first time, polling suggests that there is no public desire for him to resign, as seen in the closing days of both Boris Johnson and Liz Truss’s tenure as prime ministers.
In a recent poll, 67% believed Johnson should resign, while 80% felt the same about Truss. Comparatively, only 40% want Sunak to resign, while 34% wish for him to remain as leader.
NHS waiting times continue to be the primary concern for voters, followed by reducing inflation and addressing the cost of living. Fuel costs rank third. However, after Sunak’s decision to prioritize his bill on deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda, cutting illegal immigration now takes fourth place. Before the next general election, 36% of respondents consider it a priority, compared to 33% in mid-November.
According to the polling, the public sentiment still leans towards a desire to reduce immigration, with 63% of participants believing that immigration levels are too high, while 17% see it as appropriate.
While there is slightly more support than opposition for the Rwanda policy, 45% of voters think it would be ineffective in deterring people from crossing the English Channel in small boats. Around 35% believe it would be effective. Although some Tory MPs continue to advocate for the UK’s departure from the European Convention on Human Rights, public support for this stance has remained steady at 29% since March.

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