As Sunak and Starmer prepare for the Battle for Number 10, polls point to mistrust in both leaders

11 June 2024, 16:10 | Updated: 11 June 2024, 21:31

Voters in the former red wall seats that turned Tory in the last election say they are unsure about who should be the next prime minister, a Sky News poll reveals.

Both leaders are taking part in the Sky News Battle for Number 10 event. Ahead of that, we asked voters in 11 key seats about trust in politics, the big issues they are concerned about and who they like most.

The results show a deep mistrust in both Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer.

Most voters said they trusted Sir Keir more when it comes to the economy and the NHS.

But on immigration, nearly half of people we asked (46%) said they did not have faith in either party to address the issue.

The poll was conducted between 3 and 7 June and surveyed 1,028 adults in Yorkshire and the Humber and East Midlands.

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It gives an insight into how the views of voters might have changed since the last election.

Five years ago the Conservative Party gained 66 seats to secure its biggest majority since Margaret Thatcher's 1987 victory.

Brexit dominated the campaign, bringing the party a win across England and giving Boris Johnson control of Westminster with 365 seats.

Traditional Labour seats like Cleethorpes and Grimsby, Bassetlaw, Scunthorpe, Rother Valley, Doncaster East and the Isle of Axholme, Penistone and Stocksbridge, Bolsover, Mansfield, Amber Valley, Gedling, and North East Derbyshire all voted against tradition.

When asked who would be the best prime minister between Sir Keir and Mr Sunak, 34% thought the former, with 21% opting for Mr Sunak.

But perhaps more revealing, 44% were unsure about who they thought should have the keys to Downing Street.

In the run up to the 2019 election, Mr Johnson was touring the fish market in Grimsby with a message of "Get Brexit Done".

In this Leave-voting area, he was garnering significant support.

Martyn Boyers, chief executive of Grimsby Fish Market, remembers giving the would-be prime minister a tour.

"We had one of the busiest days we've had when Boris came. He liked all the banter and all the jokes. We had a whale of a time.

"But since then, there's been massive change."

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Martin says he wants to hear about what Mr Sunak and Sir Keir have to say for businessmen like him.

"I want to know what their intentions are for business. It's not just about the fishing industry. It's about business on a wider level. Things like operations, employment, business rates and rules, regulations," he said.

On the promenade, Jason Turner and his wife Amanda are struggling to decide who to vote for.

"We hear loads of promises from the campaign trail, but I'm not sure that any of them turn into anything. And that makes it difficult. Neither of us have got any idea who we're going to vote for," they said.