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Average grades for Sunak on 100 days as UK PM

By Ashis Ray
London, Feb 3 (IANS) As the incumbent British Prime Minister has completed 100 days in office, The Times, a centre-right daily, headlined: “How Rishi Sunaks first 100 days as PM have been shaped by strikes and scandals.”

The leftist Guardian’s heading was: “Ratings sink and obstacles amass as Sunak completes first 100 days as PM.”

The left-of-centre Independent highlighted: “Scandals, sackings and U-turns: Rishi Sunak’s first 100 days in the job.”

But most damaging of all, the right-wing pro ruling Conservative party Daily Mail bemoaned: “Rishi Sunak mocked for “migraine-inducing” new video to mark his first 100 days in office.”

Finally, YouGov, a polling agency, extrapolating from data gathered by it, gave its verdict as: “100 days in, Rishi Sunak’s rating are lacklustre and he has failed to salvage the Tory (Conservative) brand.”

It went on to say: “During (Sunak’s predecessor) Liz Truss’s time as Prime Minister the Conservatives plummeted in the headline voting intention polls, with (the main opposition) Labour (party) taking the largest lead over the party — 33 points — since YouGov was founded in 2000.

“Since Sunak has taken over, the polls have stabilised and the Labour lead has narrowed, but nevertheless a significant gap of 20 points remains.”

On the Sunak’s personal rating, YouGov assessed: “The Prime Minister’s personal favourability rating is comparatively better than those of his predecessors, sitting at -29 compared to Boris Johnson’s final score of -40 and Truss’s rock bottom -70.”

More worryingly for the Prime Minister though, the pollster underlined: “Sunak is increasingly seen as a bad Prime Minister, with 56 per cent of Britons saying so as of late January.”

Only 22 per cent of his compatriots would choose him over the opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer as Prime Minister.

The Mail’s view was: “Mr Sunak’s video attracted a predictably poor reception on social media…”

He is about to lose his third cabinet colleague in as the Guardian put it in “ignoble circumstances” — deputy prime minister Dominic Raab — thereby reflecting an ill-judged choice of ministers.

It is, however, generally conceded the UK Prime Minister’s Office is now much more functional than under Johnson and Truss, albeit Sunak is reportedly still trying to micro-manage where he should be looking at the big picture.

More crucially, Conservative MPs with majorities of less than 10,000 votes fear Sunak cannot help them retain their seats.

In short, it appears to be a tough time ahead for Sunak, popular with many though not all British Hindus.

His cultural and ethnic background, limited experience in politics and a personality seen to be somewhat uncharismatic seem to make it difficult for him to connect with voters, especially working-class Britons.

In Britain, indigenous people expect a politician to be one of them when it comes to letting one’s hair down at a pub in an evening and going to football matches over weekends.

Sunak claims to be a supporter of Southampton Football Club, who play in the English Premier League; but is not reputed to be a natural at a watering hole.