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The Precious (And Expensive) Mr Sunak

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The precious (and expensive) Mr Sunak

Rishi Sunak, we learnt this week, plans to spend £500,000 of public money on focus groups and online polls to find out what people think of him.

If you are in either the PR or polling industries this is very good news. All politicians should shell out that amount, each.

But the question arises – how on earth can you squander half a million quid on polls for just one person?

If Rishi had given me £20 I could tell him how it looks: people don’t much like you lately mate.

If you really want to science it up, just go to the YouGov website, which will tell you that 92% of us have heard of the Chancellor, but only 31% like him.

That number is lower among people who read he is spending £500,000 of their money to find what they think of him.

Caring this much what people think of you is unappealing of course, even for a politician. It is bad PR.

When big companies do it, that makes more sense. Are you thinking of buying a new phone, is an ok question. Tell me why you like me, not so much.

The mere fact of asking makes the answers worse.

For our Find Out Now poll this week we asked nearly 3000 people: How well do you think Rishi Sunak is doing in his role as Chancellor? How well do you think Rishi Sunak would do as Prime Minister? Do you agree or disagree that politicians should be able to use public money for PR purposes?

The most striking findings are that only 4% think he is doing “very well”, and only 17% think he would be a good PM. Hardly anyone approves of him polling with our money.

You can see the full results below.

Press release of the day

The Chancellor could do his cost-of-living crisis bit tomorrow. This from End Fuel Poverty already says it won’t be enough, whatever it is. 

It wants an emergency budget, warning of thousands of additional winter deaths due to cold homes.

A 50% windfall tax on big energy might do the trick, it says.

Stories that will keep rolling

1) What is Johnson Matthey’s new plan after scrapping plans to do high-performance car batteries?

2) How are rocky markets impacting AJ Bell? Are customers still buying shares or not?

3) What is happening to second hand car costs according to Auto Trader?

4) Do Wickes figures suggest the DIY boom is over?


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