A new opinion poll may make uncomfortable reading for Liz Truss as she prepares for her first day as Britain’s prime minister.
Most Brits want her to call a general election almost immediately, rather than wait out the current parliamentary term which could last another two years, the survey found.
Six in ten said they want a chance to vote this year, according to the poll by Savanta ComRes, which was conducted before Truss was officially announced as the winner of the Conservative leadership contest on Monday.
Half of the public said Truss cannot unite the country, while just 18% said she can. Meanwhile, only 18% said they had a favorable view of Truss as she prepared to take the job; 44% said they view her unfavorably.
The margin of error on the survey is plus or minus two percentage points.
The Conservatives’ poll numbers have been sinking for several months and show little sign of improving under Truss’s leadership, though previous prime ministers have enjoyed a bounce in opinion polls after taking the job.
In her first speech as Tory leader, Truss hinted that she was preparing to fight an election “in two years” — in other words, towards the end of the current Parliament, as leaders typically do.
But she could choose to call for a snap election at any time. The prospect of a dire 2023 economically, and current polling suggesting anything from a narrow Labour victory to a comfortable Labour majority, may well be weighing on her mind.
“This poll illustrates the gargantuan task awaiting the new Prime Minister,” Chris Hopkins, director of Political Research at Savanta ComRes, said in a press release.
“Not only does she have one of the most troublesome in-trays that any incoming PM has had post-war, healing the wounds caused by a fierce leadership election and uniting her party at the same time is going to take some doing.”
The company interviewed 2,301 British adults between September 2 and 4.