Politics

Sky News voter panel reacts to ‘boring’ Starmer and ‘untrustworthy’ Sunak at leaders’ event

The majority of the Sky News YouGov voters panel thought Keir Starmer performed better than Rishi Sunak in the Grimsby Leaders’ Event.

But a large number of our panel, made up of undecided voters, were also unimpressed with both leaders.

When asked whether the leaders’ performances had impacted their voting intentions, our panel was split.

One voter said Keir Starmer had “energy” and was “more relatable”, while another likened him to the former Conservative Prime Minister John Major, “boring, but probably the man we need right now”.

When considering Rishi Sunak, one panellist said he sounded “defeated”, but another said: ” I didn’t really agree with everything Rishi Sunak said, but he did seem to answer more questions.”

Our unique voters panel, produced by pollster YouGov, represents over 40 different seats, and a range of different political views.

Giving rapid reaction to the Leaders’ Event, we asked people which moments stood out.

More on General Election 2024

Immigration was mentioned more than once.

One voter said: “I found it interesting how Rishi Sunak was adamant that he was helping with immigration and was a Brexiteer, and actually immigration has gone up.”

Keir Starmer’s answer when pushed about his previous support for Jeremy Corbyn also came up. “He knew that they were going to lose the last election and nevertheless still endorsed Jeremy Corbyn,” one panellist told us.

We asked our voters panel for the three words they associate with both leaders.

For the prime minister, ‘calm’ and ‘direct’ are there, but tiny compared to some of the more common terms; ‘apologetic’, ‘untrustworthy’ and ‘defensive’.

Rishi Sunak's word cloud. Pic: Sky News / YouGov Voters Panel
Image:
Rishi Sunak’s word cloud. Pic: Sky News / YouGov Voters Panel

As for Keir Starmer, it’s more mixed.

People described him as ‘confident’ and ‘honest’, but also ‘evasive’ and ‘boring’.

Read more:
Starmer’s ‘worry’ for family if he enters No 10
Sunak ‘incredibly excited’ about daughters’ national service

Keir Starmer's word cloud. Pic: Sky News / YouGov Voters Panel
Image:
Keir Starmer’s word cloud. Pic: Sky News / YouGov Voters Panel

So did the Sky News leaders’ event have any impact on how our voters panel will vote on 4 July?


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Well for some it has. One said:I think for me it really changed my opinion on sort of Keir Starmer and the Labour Party’s stances.”

While another is now leaning towards the Tories “mainly because of the comment that was made by Rishi Sunak about a vote for Nigel Farage is in effect going to put Starmer into number 10”.

Many though are still undecided, summed up perhaps by this voter: “Twenty two days to go. Oh, dear me, I’m fed up with it already. And I’m sure a lot of people are, so let’s just see.”

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