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    Politics

    Sunak and Starmer's approval gap is widest ever after Tory by-election defeats

    A poll by Deltapoll gave Rishi Sunak a net approval rating of minus 43. Photo: ADRIAN DENNIS/REUTERS

    Rishi Sunak's approval rating soars fell after Conservative by-election defeats, with the gap between the prime minister and Sir Keir Starmer, the Labor leader, the widest ever.

    Poll by Deltapoll. Mr Sunak's net approval rating was minus 43, with 26 per cent of respondents saying he was doing well and 68 per cent saying he was doing poorly.

    Sir Keir recorded a net approval rating minus two. while 43 percent said he was doing well, and 45 percent said he was doing poorly.

    The poll was conducted between 16 and 19 February, four days after the Wellingborough and Kingswood by-elections, which saw the Conservatives lose to Labor despite winning a five-digit majority in the 2019 general election.

    Net ratings Mr Sunak's approval rating fell eight points from the company's previous survey, conducted between February 9 and 12, while Sir Keir's approval rating rose five points.

    Deltapoll said: “The gap between Sunak and Starmer's net approval is now the widest it has ever been.”

    Joe Twyman, co-founder and director of Deltapoll, said: “Rishi Sunak hit another record low in our latest leadership rankings, continuing a clear long-term decline. Keir Starmer, on the other hand, is hovering around net zero.”

    The firm's poll also found Labour's lead in perceived economic competence rose by four percentage points in the week following news on 15 February that the UK had entered a technical recession.

    Forty-six per cent of those polled believe the party Sir Keir is more economically competent (down one point), while 29 per cent think the Conservatives are more economically competent (down three points).

    It comes after a Deltapoll poll on voting intentions in Westminster showed Labour's lead over the Conservatives widening by three percentage points to 21 per cent.

    Labour is now at 48 per cent (up three points over two weeks), while Conservative support remained unchanged at 27 per cent and eight per cent said they planned to vote Lib Dem.

    < p>Eighteen per cent of voters said they would vote for another party, eliminating those who didn't know or wanted to say so in the next general election.

    The last time the Conservatives were ahead in the national poll was taken on December 6, 2021 , and The Telegraph's general election tracker shows Labor ahead by just under 20 points.

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