Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt’s popularity plummets among Tory members after Autumn Statement

Rishi Sunak – JESSICA TAYLOR/AFP/Getty Images

The popularity of Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt plummeted among Conservative Party members in the wake of tax hikes in the autumn statement.

Sunak’s approval rating means he is now sixth from the bottom in the monthly ranking of government approval ratings published by the ConservativeHome website.

The Prime Minister was the fifth most popular frontbencher in the previous poll, released on 3 November, with a net approval rating of 49.9%.

But his first full month in office, which included the announcement of a £24bn tax increase on 17 November, saw this drop to just nine per cent.

Hunt at minus 9.9%.

Mr Hunt, the chancellor, is now in negative territory by minus 9.9 per cent, a 30 percentage point drop from his previous assessment of 29.7 per cent.

The figures suggest that whatever initial boost they gained from the relative political stability brought by Sunak and Hunt is fading and they are struggling to win membership.

49% of Conservative members do not support the government’s economic policy, while 42% do, according to a ConservativeHome poll also on Tuesday.

The Cabinet’s overall popularity at the base has also plummeted in light of the recent decisions. At 21.7%, it is lower than the 23.7% recorded in the only poll of Ms Truss’ short-lived premiership.

Wallace is the most popular with 83.2%.

Ben Wallace, the defense secretary, remains the most popular cabinet minister (83.2%), followed by Kemi Badenoch, the international trade secretary (63.4%) and James Cleverly, the foreign secretary (61.7 %).

The growing Channel migrant crisis means Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister, is the least popular cabinet member with an approval rating of minus 25.4%.

But Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, rose slightly in popularity – from 20.4% to 21.9% – after successfully weathering a political storm around leaked documents.

Dominic Raab, the justice secretary, dropped from 35.7% to 17.6% due to a series of bullying allegations. The claims, denied by Mr. Raab, are the subject of an ongoing independent investigation.

Andrew Mitchell, who returned to government after his appointment as Minister of Development, was also in negative territory, with minus 8.2 percent.

Mr Mitchell has been a staunch supporter of foreign aid and as a backbencher regularly called for the UK’s foreign aid budget to return to 0.7% of GDP as soon as possible.

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