Wed, 22 Mar 2023 Today's Paper

Lankans unfavourable of all political party leaders

3 February 2023 12:26 pm - 22     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • SLOTS polling shows public maintains unfavourable and worsening views of all, although President Wickremesinghe had the least negative ratings in November

The latest Sri Lanka Opinion Tracker Survey (SLOTS) polling shows that the public continue to have deeply unfavourable views of all major political party leaders. 

UNP Leader President Ranil Wickremasinghe has the least negative favourability ratings, although by a small margin. The past three months have seen a fresh decline in favourability for most, giving back some modest gains since August. 

In November, President Wickremesinghe was viewed unfavourably by a net 46% of Sri Lankans, but this was still marginally better than other party leaders.

Opposition Leader and SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa had a net negative rating of 57%, not significantly different to that of NPP and JVP Leader A.K. Dissanayake, who had a net negative rating of 55%. 

Recent interviews suggest that Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s ratings may have started to recover from the deep lows (-80%) they maintained for most of the year, with his favourability rating recovering to a net negative 51% in November.

SLOTS has been tracking favourability of leading politicians daily since August 2021. 

Through the end of 2021, SLPP Leader President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, maintained an edge in favourability over Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa. The economic and political crisis that hit at the start of the year then collapsed President Rajapaksa’s favourability and dragged down the favourability ratings of all politicians SLOTS tracks, with the public expressing unfavourable views of all by April 2022. 

From June, the favourability of the other party leaders began to recover but remained deeply negative through October, after which the latest interviews suggest the public is becoming more negative in their views.

Ranil Wickremesinghe maintained modestly more negative ratings than Sajith Premadasa through the end of 2021, but since the current crisis hit and following his election as President, his ratings have generally been slightly less negative. However, public views of both of them appear to have become more negative since September 2022.

IHP’s Sri Lanka Opinion Tracker Survey (SLOTS) is a telephone survey that interviews nationally representative samples of the public every day. SLOTS tracks favourability by asking respondents if they have a favourable or unfavourable opinion of a public figure or institution; net favourability being the average of the positive and negative responses. 

The question that SLOTS uses is a standard one used in similar surveys around the world. Scores range from +100 (everyone has a favourable view) to -100 (everyone has an unfavourable view). 

This is more an indicator of general sentiment about politicians than how people will vote, something that SLOTS tracks separately. For example, United States President Bill Clinton’s favourability ratings slid in his second term following personal scandals and impeachment, but his political support and job approval were lifted by a booming economy. 

The Institute for Health Policy (IHP), is an independent, non-partisan research centre based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The SLOTS Lead Investigator is Dr. Ravi Rannan-Eliya of IHP, who was trained in public opinion polling at Harvard University, and who has conducted numerous opinion surveys over three decades. (

  Comments - 22

  • Sarea Friday, 03 February 2023 12:44 PM

    This is a paid advertisement by unp

    BuffaloaCitizen Friday, 03 February 2023 12:52 PM

    The fact Gota still has 51% popularity shows the Citizens of this country are culturally idiots. Whereas in any other country, a leader who caused so much disaster to the nation together with his family should show below 5%.

    Too much baffaloes Friday, 03 February 2023 03:02 PM

    In any other country people will know that you can't cause and economic issue in 2 years nor can you fix it in 2 years.

    Leonard Wolff Friday, 03 February 2023 12:57 PM

    RW funded project ahead of elections.

    Peter Friday, 03 February 2023 02:40 PM


    ghostlanka Friday, 03 February 2023 01:20 PM

    Some Americano trying to gain favour with RW

    Fred Friday, 03 February 2023 01:21 PM

    All political parties have failed to deliver.What alternatives do the people have? . That seems to be the question. Most people see none and are migrating. Those that are able to. Judging by the news many countries seem to interested in investing there.That should make the leadership happy, regardless of opinion polls.They need the money regardless of the polls.The investors must be happy they want the most bang for their buck

    Liberal One Friday, 03 February 2023 03:03 PM

    Alternative is to work hard and create wealth and then pay your taxes. There is not other way to develop a country.

    Nadi Karunaratne Friday, 03 February 2023 01:23 PM

    Given how disliked the existing political class is, why have no new parties and leaders been presented to the voters? We badly need an alternative to the incompetent and corrupt politicians who remain, despite being patently unwanted.

    Neo Friday, 03 February 2023 03:05 PM

    So people themselves need to create those alternatives you talk about. We can't expect to import political parties from other countries can we?

    Sandy Friday, 03 February 2023 01:26 PM

    Ranil and gotabaya are very clear about their chosen path. Sajith and akd lack leadership skills and are just trying to take advantage of the situation.

    Sunil Friday, 03 February 2023 01:28 PM

    I do not think that these so called "findings" are accurate. The pin president should have hit rock bottom by now.

    Lion Friday, 03 February 2023 01:33 PM

    The rating appear to be wrong since the ground reality is vastly different to what is said in the report

    Ranjan Friday, 03 February 2023 01:41 PM

    What ever it be. The people of this bankrupt state want these crooks be punished and put behind bars. It was the same during Ypalanaya

    Jayantha Friday, 03 February 2023 01:43 PM

    All shown above are way over 54. No point in appointing such a old person as a party leader or to lead the nation. We need younger people with experience around age 40 as they familiar with new technology and modern ways to develop the country. My suggestion to everyone is defeat any candiate from any party above 45 at next election as that is the way we can move forward.

    Dee Friday, 03 February 2023 01:44 PM

    Pretty good indication. But throw our people a freebie or two, even the most educated will turn!

    Citizen k Friday, 03 February 2023 01:58 PM

    The poll is utter nonsense.For example look of the rating of GR and RW.Do you think that this the true feelings of the citizens?Who is fooling who?

    D.Seneviratne Friday, 03 February 2023 02:07 PM

    This is absolute rubbish. Again shows very clearly how a small segment of people attempt to distort and deceive society. This is a clear example of how SL society has been manipulated since independence and for the sorry state that we are in today. No lessons learnt, keep up the status quo to scoop up even the remnants of bankruptcy.

    Wiseman Friday, 03 February 2023 02:15 PM

    The conduct of this survey is very questionable. Most likely it was done among the elites only. Therefore it is inaccurate. It would be proven post elections. Unless they rig the election as usual.

    Ranjith Perera Friday, 03 February 2023 02:30 PM

    If local government elections is allowed to take place as agreed on March 09 2023 as declared by commission,RW government and SLOTS polling will learn truth of public opinion. It is wast of time and money at this moment on arguing with people who think they can hoodwink people of this land anymore:

    Volker Metzger Friday, 03 February 2023 08:58 PM

    The results of the SLOTS survey show the personal disaster for the so-called political elite of Sri Lanka! Both Ranil, who still benefits from his office bonus, and other key politicians who were formerly in power (Gota) or are now striving for it, are largely rejected by the people! Apparently, no politician is granted the necessary leadership skills and political power, which would be the indispensable prerequisites to solve the country's problems and lead it into a good future! The result for the opposition leader Premadasa is frightening! You can't win a general election with him!

    suresh olagama Monday, 06 February 2023 12:25 PM

    this is absolute hogwash.... most probably founded by RW and the Rajapaksha Clan ...

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