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Press Release

AK Dissanayake’s public favourability improves, but Sajith Premadasa’s worsens in August
But public continues to have unfavourable views of all party leaders

NPP/JVP leader A.K. Dissanayake’s favourability rating improved to -28 points in August (up 16 points). In contrast, SJB leader Sajith Premadasa saw his favourability drop further to -58 (down 14). Favourability of President Ranil Wickremasinghe remained unchanged at -46.

Favourability estimates for each month are based on 100–500 interviews conducted during that month and during a few weeks before and afterward to ensure a minimum set of responses. The August 2023 estimates are based on 439 (Sajith Premadasa), 390 (A.K. Dissanayake), 449 (Ranil Wickremasinghe), and 172 (Gotabaya Rajapaksa) interviews.

Note to editors

We have noted that some members of the public misunderstand media reporting of these numbers. Negative scores, i.e., a net favourability rating of less than zero, means that the individual or institution is UNPOPULAR. Only positive scores, i.e., net favourability is more than zero, mean that the individual or institution is POPULAR on average. 

About IHP

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 has trained in public opinion polling at Harvard University and has conducted numerous surveys over three decades. 


SLOTS surveys a national sample of adults (ages 18 and over) reached by random digit dialling of mobile numbers, and others coming from a national panel of respondents who were previously recruited through random selection. 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 (+100) and negative (-100) responses. All estimates are weighted to match the national population with respect to age, sex, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sector, province and past voting preference. Monthly estimates are based on samples of 100+ interviews pooled from interviews in each month and from weeks before and afterwards.


The SLOTS has been funded by the Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust, the UK National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), The Asia Foundation in Sri Lanka, and others, but the sponsors play no role in the study design, analysis, or interpretation of findings. Interested parties can contact IHP for more detailed data and results. 


Date: 20 September 2023
Time: 12:00 PM


Dalreen Barthelot
Email: dalreen ‘at’


Dr. Ravi Rannan-Eliya
Email: ravi ‘at’  Twitter: @ravirannaneliya