Sunak ‘mob rule’ polling shows voters aren’t buying into his rhetoric

  • Post last modified:March 11, 2024
  • Reading time:5 mins read

Voters don’t believe prime minister Rishi Sunak’s claims that “mob rule” and extremists have taken over Britain. Instead, swathes of the public think the Tories are the ones fuelling hatred and undermining democracy. That’s the verdict of new polling commissioned by Byline Times/Byline Supplement.

Of course, the problem is that while the public aren’t buying Sunak’s nonsense, they aren’t buying into Labour’s either – meaning this year’s general election is likely to be a democratic washout.

Sunak: on the offensive

Following George Galloway’s thunderous election victory in Rochdale, Sunak went on the offensive. In a preposterous address outside Downing Street, he urged the country to “face down the extremists who would tear us apart”. He was specifically taking aim at pro-Palestine protesters.

As the Canary recently reported, the Tories are now trying to change the extremism definition – essentially to anyone who doesn’t support the right-wing, capitalist status quo.

Now an exclusive new poll conducted by WeThink for Byline Times/Byline Supplement suggests the British public isn’t buying into Sunak’s rhetoric. Moreover, voters appear to have major concerns over the Tory Party‘s increasingly Islamophobic and authoritarian stance. You can read the full report here.

The public aren’t buying it

The polling found that:

  • 45% of British voters believe that the Conservative Party is actively “undermining democracy”. This rises to 64% when including only those with a view (that is, excluding the ‘don’t knows’). Only around 25% of those polled see the party as protecting or strengthening democratic values.
  • There was a rough 50/50 split between voters who perceive the party as contributing to extremism as much as those who see the Tories as reducing it.
  • 38% of voters disagree with the PM’s characterisation of Britain being under ‘mob rule’ due to recent protests. This was versus 31% who agreed with him.
  • 58% of voters say they would not be confident they’d be treated fairly by the police if they took part in a public demonstration.
  • 43% of the public believes the Conservative Party is making anti-Muslim hatred worse. This rises to 72% when you take out the don’t knows. Only 17% believe the party is making the situation better.

Notably, even among 2019 Conservative voters a larger proportion sees the party as exacerbating the problem rather than helping.

Let the mob speak at the general election

The WeThink poll for Byline Supplement was conducted on the 7 March, involving 1,186 adults polled online across Britain, and weighted.

As Josiah Mortimer summed up for Byline Supplement:

Perhaps Rishi Sunak’s fears over ‘mob role’ in fact represent something simpler. This multi-millionaire’s idea of a ‘mob’ – the increasingly irate public at large – is well and truly against him. He is tied to a party that is veering dangerously towards the hard Right. From his party’s GB News bunker, it is everyone else that looks extreme. At some point this year however, the mob will get to have their say at last.

Of course, the concern is that with both the Tories and Labour not actually resonating with voters – the latter only winning some by-elections because people didn’t turn out to vote – whoever wins the next election will get in by default, not on an actual mandate. As the Canary wrote in a recent editorial:

The risk for Labour is that while many voters decide they can no-longer vote Tory, they simultaneously don’t vote Labour.

Throw in the wildcard that is Boris Johnson, and this election could end very differently than current polling predicts.

So, while Byline Supplement‘s polling shows voters don’t believe the Tories – it’s likely they don’t believe Labour, either. That’s no kind of democracy to be living in.

Featured image via 10 Downing Street – YouTube

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