Each month, ConservativeHome publishes our Cabinet League Table, based on the net approval/disapproval rating of each Cabinet Minister. Over time, those ratings tell the story of any given individual or department’s good or bad fortune.
But it’s also possible to use them to chart the overall degree to which the Conservative Party’s membership is pleased (or not) with the performance of the Government. By combining all the positive and negative ratings, I’ve generated a total score for the whole Cabinet for any given month (NB I have not included the Scottish and Welsh Conservative leaders). And by charting those full-Cabinet scores over the course of the year, we can see the stark story of declining Tory morale during 2018:
The survey is carried out at the end of each month, so can be read as a response to events that month. In particular, note the peak in March and April after the Russian attack on Salisbury and the Government’s firm response, then the dramatic collapse in ratings in July after Chequers, and finally the fall into outright negative territory in November after the Prime Minister presented her EU deal.
So far as I can tell, this is the first time the whole Cabinet has had an overall negative approval rating in the ConservativeHome survey. Collectively, the Cabinet has shed 1,190 net approval points since the April peak.
Or, to put it another way, the average approval rating of a member of the Cabinet has fallen from +36.2 in April to -4.8 in November. That is a pretty devastating verdict from grassroots members on the Government’s direction of travel.