Keir has a net approval lead over Boris – but where it matters least –

The above chart has been created from the approval rating data in the weekend Opinium poll for the Observer when Johnson was up a bit from his worst ever approval rating as PM earlier in the month. He’s trailing Starmer in most regions but that is deceptive in electoral terms. For Starmer has a significant edge in the regions where there are fewer marginals but it is much closer in England outside London. Indeed Johnson has a lead in the Midlands.

The way this is calculated is, for example, taking the Johnson net minus 2% in London and comparing it with Starmer’s plus 21% making a gap here of 23%.

In all of this Scotland is largely irrelevant giving the overwhelming position of the SNP and for the Tories it is all about clinging on to as much as they have rather than making gains. Wales is by far the smallest region while special considerations apply in London.

In one sense taking the net rating helps Starmer because far more of those in the sample do not yet have an opinion.

The South, which is due to get more seats in the boundary changes, and the Midlands are where most of the battlegrounds are.

This is from just one poll and I will aim to do this analysis again with future polls from the firm.

Mike Smithson

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