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Huge Majority Believe it’s ‘Time for a Change’, But Most Think Keir Starmer Isn’t Offering it

Eight out of ten voters want a shift in direction but fear there is little difference between the two major parties, according to a new poll for Byline Times.

Keir Starmer. Photo: PA Images / Alamy

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Eight out of ten voters say it’s ‘time for change’ at the next general election, but only a minority believe Keir Starmer will deliver it, according to a new poll commissioned by Byline Times.

Pollsters We Think asked UK voters whether they believe it is now “time for a change” at the next general election. They found that an overwhelming majority of 79% of voters now believe it is, compared to just 21% who disagree.

Even those still planning to vote for the Conservatives appear to believe the country needs a new direction, with 40% agreeing that it is time for change, compared to 60% who do not.

Yet despite the apparent demand for change, voters have doubts over whether Keir Starmer and the Labour Party will be able to deliver it.

According to our poll 57% voters agree with the statement that there  is “little real difference” between Labour and the Conservatives compared to just 43% who believe that “Labour is offering real change”.

These doubts extend to views of Starmer himself.

According to our survey, fewer than half (45%) of UK voters believe a Government led by Keir Starmer would be “significantly different” to one led by Rishi Sunak, with 36% believing it would be “broadly similar” and a further 19% unsure.

Even many Labour voters have their doubts about Starmer’s ability to deliver change according to our poll, with 29% saying they believe a Starmer administration would be broadly similar to one led by the current Prime Minister.

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These doubts are also shared by current Conservative Party voters, who are split down the middle on whether Starmer would really mark a significant break from one led by their own party. Fewer than half (43%) of Conservative voters believe a Starmer Government would be significantly different from a Sunak Government, with 40% believing it would be broadly similar.

While voters are clear that they want change, they are much more split on whether any change in strategy is required from the Labour leadership in order to demonstrate this. According to the poll voters are split on whether Labour’s current approach is too cautious (14%), too risky (17%) or about right (39%).

They are similarly split on whether Labour opposes the Conservatives too little (18%), too much (19%) or get the balance about right (39%).

The sentiments picked up in the poll are also shared by voters in focus groups, according to Luke Tryl, who conducts regular sessions around the country for the organisation More in Common.

“One of the things, aside from headline results that I’m most interested in about the next general election is what turnout will be like and whether it will be a very low turnout”, Tryl told Byline Times.

“Because people just don’t aren’t enthusiastic at the moment. They broadly want change but they’re not sure that change is on offer.”


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