That chart that Ben Page has in his tweet is quite striking. In the last 42 years only two leaders of the opposition have led their parties their parties into government, unsurprisingly those two leaders are the top of these ratings.
Sir Keir Starmer is more middling with his ratings indistinguishable from those who didn’t lead their parties into government, but does it matter?
In one major respect it doesn’t, so long as Starmer’s ratings are better than the Prime Minister’s then it should be a good night for Labour but Starmer’s Labour needs to a net gain of 124 seats just for a majority of two at the next election, in a post war context only three leaders of the opposition have managed a net gain of over 100 seats.
What should worry Liz Truss is that if Tory MPs and the voters consider Starmer to be a bit of a dud and therefore eminently beatable they may oust Truss before the general election in the hope of keeping their seats if Truss and her Chancellor continue to be Kwasi ineffective.
A more elegant comparison on the current situation is that Sir Keir Starmer is the heir to Boris Johnson. Back in 2019 Boris Johnson’s ratings were pretty poor compared to new PMs but his opponent Jeremy Corbyn had such bad ratings that it made look Boris Johnson look the sane choice in a straight head to head.