More than half of Britons believe footballer Marcus Rashford is doing a better job of holding the government to account over its coronavirus response than leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer, according to a new poll.
The Ipsos MORIS poll found that 56% of Britons aged 18-75 favoured Rashford with 29% backing Starmer.
The Manchester United star shot to political fame last summer for successfully lobbying the government to provide free school meals for underprivileged children during the summer holidays.
Since then, he has continued to pressure the government. In October, he challenged Chancellor Rishi Sunak over Universal Credit, and petitioned the government to end child food poverty. The following month, the government announced that it would provide £400 million because of the campaign.
Reflecting on the poll, Ben Page, Ipsos MORI’s CEO, observed that Rashford has been helped by the simplicity of his message.
“He is helped by the fact that he is campaigning on a simple issue – free school meals – that neatly encapsulates the sharpened inequalities that CV19 has revealed,” he said.
The Ipsos study comes at a difficult time for Labour Leader Starmer, who has faced criticism over his ability as a leader.
A recent poll by Redfield & Wilton Strategies found that the public rated Prime Minister Boris Johnson higher than Starmer on numerous questions. Thirty-eight per cent backed Johnson as a strong leader with 33% favouring Starmer. On their ability to tackle the pandemic 38% supported Johnson and 26% favouring Starmer.
Ipsos MORI published a further poll today revealing who the public think should be given priority for vaccinations after currently priorities groups.
Nearly half of Britons (46%) of Britons believe that Teachers and nursery worker should be the highest priority. Close behind are those working in emergency services (42%), then police (35%) and supermarket and food shop employees (33%).
Broken down by age, 34% of younger Britons favour the vaccination of those aged 60-69.
“The prioritisation of who gets a vaccine is a tough choice for any Government who have to weigh up a range of issues when it comes to deciding who gets the vaccine and when,” said Kelly Beaver, Ipsos MORI’s MD for public affairs.
“But the British public are clear that after the currently prioritised groups it’s our teachers and emergency workers who should be next in line for the COVID-19 vaccine, even ahead of those aged 60-69,” she continued.
The poll follows Sir Keir Starmer’s statement at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, in which he urged the government to “use the window” of the February half-term to vaccinate all teachers and support staff.