Brexit boost for Sunak as PM closes in on Starmer’s popularity

Techne UK chief Michela Morizzo on this week’s polls

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Rishi Sunak is closing in on Sir Keir Starmer’s popularity after securing his Brexit deal with the EU, new polling shows. The best PM tracker poll by Techne for the Express puts the Prime Minister on 40 percent – up one from 39 in the last survey two weeks ago.

The Labour leader has dropped one point from 45 to 44 percent in the fortnightly polling.

It means the gap between the pair has narrowed from six points on February 16 to four in the survey of 1,624 British adults which was carried out from March 1 to 2.

Meanwhile, the Tories also slashed four points from Labour’s lead in the Express’s latest weekly tracker poll on voting intentions.

The survey puts Sir Keir Starmer’s party on 47 percent, while the Conservatives are on 29 percent.

The findings come after Mr Sunak struck his Brexit agreement on Northern Ireland with Brussels.

He finalised the Windsor Framework with EU chief Ursula von der Leyen last Monday in a bid to end years of tensions over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Prime Minister triumphantly told MPs his deal “puts beyond all doubt that we’ve now taken back control”, echoing Boris Johnson’s Brexit slogan.

But he is still waiting for the verdict of the DUP, whose support will be key to restoring power-sharing in Northern Ireland.

And the European Research Group (ERG) of Conservative Brexiteers has said it will take around two weeks for its so-called “star chamber” of lawyers to go through the agreement with a fine-tooth comb.

In a blow to Mr Sunak last Thursday, his chief political rival Mr Johnson criticised the deal in a combative speech at a global soft power summit in Westminster.

The former PM said he would “find it very difficult” to vote for the agreement his successor but one struck with the bloc.

He said: “I’m conscious I’m not going to be thanked for saying this, but I think it is my job to do so, we must be clear about what is really going on here.

“This is not about the UK taking back control, and although there are easements this is really a version of the solution that was being offered last year to Liz Truss when she was foreign secretary.

“This is the EU graciously unbending to allow us to do what we want to do in our own country, not by our laws, but by theirs.”

Meanwhile, on the same day, Mr Sunak took more than 100 Tory MPs for an away day at the Fairmont Hotel in Windsor to boost party unity.

Tory strategist Isaac Levido was brought to lay out the latest polling on the party’s fortunes.

The Government will this week unveil long-awaited legislation on tackling small boats carrying migrants across the Channel to the UK.

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