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Exclusive Poll: Public Sees Conservatives as Self-Servatives
Voters believe Rishi Sunak's party is now mostly interested in serving its own interests, and its donors, rather than the public
Good afternoon and welcome to the first of our new weekly briefings from Byline’s Political Editor Adam Bienkov.
Here we will shine a light on the stories other news outlets aren’t telling you about, as well as look at the big trends behind the events of the week.
As the Conservatives suffer a historic by-election defeat in Chester, we have exclusive new polling showing quite how low the party’s reputation has now sunk.
We also have the latest edition of the Byline Podcast, in which Adrian Goldberg talks to the Liberal Democrat’s Deputy Leader, Daisy Cooper, about our report on the shocking scale of sexual assaults in UK hospitals.
This edition of the Bienkov Briefing is free to read. However, most future editions will only be available to paid subscribers.
So if you want to receive every edition, while helping us hold the powerful to account, please sign up for a full subscription to the Byline Supplement, at a specially discounted rate for the next couple of days.
EXCLUSIVE POLL: PUBLIC SEES CONSERVATIVES AS SELF-SERVATIVES
Exclusive new polling for the Byline Supplement reveals that voters now see the Conservative Party as overwhelmingly prioritising their own interests, and those of their donors, over the public.
Pollsters Omnisis asked voters whose interests they believe Rishi Sunak’s party now most represents.
59% said the Conservative Party most represent its own interests, or its donors, compared to just 11% who say it most represents the public.
46% say the party most represents its own interests, with 13% saying they most represent donors. A further 18% say the party most represents the interests of businesses.
This compares badly to the Labour Party. According to Omnisis, 36% of the public believe that Keir Starmer’s party most represents the interests of the public, with 35% saying they instead most represent either themselves, or their donors.
Public trust in Sunak himself appears to be higher than in his party however. Asked if he represents the interests of people like them, 31% said he did, compared to 32% for Starmer.
However, significantly more voters mistrust Sunak to represent their interests, with almost half (48%) saying they don’t trust the Prime Minister to represent them, compared to 39% for the Labour leader.
A PARTY STUCK IN THE PAST
At this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Sunak accused Starmer of leading a party that practices “the politics of yesterday”.
However, our poll found that far more voters now see Labour as a party that “represents the future of this country” than the Conservatives.
According to Omnisis, 41% see Starmer’s party as representing the future of the country, as opposed to just 21% who say the same of Sunak’s party.
The poll also casts doubts on the wisdom of the issues Sunak’s party, and its supporters in the press, are choosing to focus on.
In recent days the Conservative Party and the Daily Mail have campaigned against Labour plans to strip private schools of the charitable status, which allows these schools to avoid millions of pounds in taxes every year.
Sunak this week accused Starmer of attacking “aspiration” by backing the policy.
However, today’s poll finds that the public mostly backs Labour’s position.
64% per cent of decided voters said they believed private schools should lose their existing tax breaks, compared to just 36% who disagreed.
VOTERS BACK RIGHT TO SECOND INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM
The poll also contains good news for Nicola Sturgeon’s party.
The Supreme Court recently ruled that the Scottish Government does not have a right to unilaterally call a second independence referendum. However our new poll suggests that most UK voters disagree with this decision.
According to Omnisis’ findings, 55% of all decided UK voters believe the Scottish Government should be allowed to hold another vote next year, compared to 45% who do not.
The findings come as the First Minister announces her intention to make the next general election a de facto vote on Scottish independence.
A SCANDAL ON THE WARDS
In the latest edition of the must-listen Byline Podcast, Adrian Goldberg discusses disturbing new figures, uncovered by Byline Times, showing that more than 1,000 people a year are being raped, or sexually assaulted, on NHS premises.
Adrian hears from Byline Times’ Chief Social Affairs Reporter Sian Norris, who broke the story, as well as Daisy Cooper MP, the Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson and Deputy Leader, who’s calling for an urgent government response to what she describes as the “horrifying” statistics.
You can listen to all previous episodes of the Byline Times podcast here.