Keir Starmer overtakes Boris Johnson as voters’ choice for PM for first time — poll
Labour still trails the Tories when it comes to voting intention, the YouGov/Times study shows. (PA)
Keir Starmer has overtaken Boris Johnson on the question of who would make the best prime minister, according to a new poll.
A YouGov study for The Times finds that 34% of those asked believe the Labour leader would do a better job than the current incumbent, against 32% support for Mr Johnson.
The figures mark the first time a Labour leader has been preferred as a potential PM since after the 2017 election that cost Theresa May her Commons majority.
Sir Keir has seen a three-point rise on the measure since last week, the data show, while Mr Johnson’s ratings have fallen by a point.
But the Tories continue to outgun Labour in voting intention, with the Conservatives polling at 42% in the YouGov study — down one point — and Labour gaining a point to poll at 36%.
The poll follows a series of clashes between the Labour and Conservative leaders over the Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sir Keir has taken aim at the help given to care homes, the Government’s school reopening plans, and the way the NHS test and trace scheme is being run.
According to Government statistics released on Thursday, only 72.4% of contacts of those infected with Covid-19 were reached last week, down from 76.2% the week before.
Asked if the contact tracing system met his ambition of being “world-beating”, Mr Johnson said: “If you look at what we're doing, actually, I think it certainly is and it certainly does fit that description of world-beating.
“I think I'm right in saying that we're now testing more per head of population than virtually any other country in Europe, certainly, in America they’re testing a huge number of people.”
“And that test and trace system is absolutely crucial for our ability to fight the disease, and it is working."
But Labour said it was “deeply concerning” many people who had been in contact with individuals who had tested positive for coronavirus were not being reached.
YouGov polled 1,606 adults between August 4-5.