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The Observer Election Research — Poll 1

Published:9 April 2005
Fieldwork:7 - 9 April 2005
Sub-Theme:Other Political Trends
Source:The Observer / Sunday Mirror

MORI's first election special research for the Observer and Sunday Mirror demonstrates the importance that turnout could have in the general election on 5th May. In this research, conducted between 7 and 9 April, 61% of the electorate say they are absolutely certain to vote — this is the highest figure measured by MORI since this question was first regularly asked in November 2002. Crucially, during this time, many more Labour supporters told us they were certain to vote, compared with the weekend before, which means that at present Labour have a comfortable lead over the Conservatives.

The Observer/Sunday Mirror poll also provides a snapshot of the "state of the nation" with questions exploring issues such as work/life balance, attitudes to tax and spend, optimism over public services and immigration — as well as an update on British attitudes towards the Royal Family.

Topline Results

  • MORI interviewed (1,004) British adults aged 18+ by telephone between 7-9 April 2005
  • Data are weighted to the national population profile
  • An (*) indicates a finding of less than 0.5%, but greater than zero
  • Where percentages do not add up to exactly 100% this may be due to computer rounding, the exclusion of "don't knows" or to multiple answers

Voting — all absolutely certain to vote — 61%

QA How do you intend to vote in the General Election on May 5th? Will you vote Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat or for another party?
IF UNDECIDED OR REFUSED AT QA
QB Which party are you most inclined to support?
Base: All absolutely certain to vote (627)

  %
Conservative 33
Labour 40
Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem) 19
Scottish/Welsh Nationalist 3
Green Party 2
UK Independence Party 2
Other 1
 
Lab lead (±%) +7
 
Would not vote 1
Undecided 11
Refused 7

Voting — all naming a party

QA How do you intend to vote in the General Election on May 5th? Will you vote Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat or for another party?
IF UNDECIDED OR REFUSED AT QA
QB Which party are you most inclined to support?
Base: All naming a party (716)

  %
Conservative 30
Labour 41
Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem) 21
Scottish/Welsh Nationalist 3
Green Party 2
UK Independence Party 2
Other 1
 
Lab lead (±%) +11
 
Would not vote 9
Undecided 14
Refused 5

QC And how likely will you be to vote in the General Election, on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 means you would be absolutely certain to vote, and 1 means that you would be absolutely certain not to vote?

  %
10 — absolutely certain to vote 61
9 5
8 7
7 4
6 2
5 6
4 1
3 2
2 1
1 — absolutely certain not to vote 8
Don't know 1
Refused *

Q1 Have you definitely decided to vote for the [PARTY NAMED AT QA OR QB] party or is there a chance you may change your mind before you vote?
Base: All naming a party they will vote for (716)

  %
Definitely decided 57
May change mind 42
Don't know 1

 See also Trends on this question

Q2 Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way the Government is running the country?

  %
Satisfied 36
Dissatisfied 56
Don't know 8

Q3 The things people can buy and do — their housing, furniture, food, cars, recreation and travel — make up their standard of living. How satisfied or dissatisfied do you feel about your standard of living at present? (Is that very or fairly?)

  All In employment
  % %
Very satisfied 23 23
Fairly satisfied 53 53
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 7 8
Fairly dissatisfied 11 11
Very dissatisfied 6 5
Don't know * *

Q4 People have different views about whether it is more important to reduce taxes or keep up government spending. How about you? Which of these statements comes closest to your own view?

  %
Taxes should be cut, even if it means some reduction in government services, such as health, education and welfare 15
Things should be left as they are 23
Government services such as health, education and welfare should be extended, even if it means some increases in taxes 56
Don't know 6

Q5 Do you support or oppose taxes being used to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor?

  %
Strongly support 30
Tend to support 29
Neither support nor oppose 11
Tend to oppose 13
Strongly oppose 12
Don't know 5

Q6 Thinking about the quality of education over the next few years, do you expect it to:

  %
Get much better 7
Get better 32
Stay the same 32
Get worse 19
Get much worse 6
Don't know 4

Q7 Thinking about the quality of healthcare over the next few years, do you expect it to:

  %
Get much better 8
Get better 37
Stay the same 27
Get worse 20
Get much worse 6
Don't know 2

Q8 Thinking about the way your area is policed do you expect it to:

  %
Get much better 5
Get better 22
Stay the same 49
Get worse 15
Get much worse 5
Don't know 4

Q9 There are different views about how working mothers should combine a career with the care of young children. Which of the following best describes what you think mothers of children age under five should do?

  %
They should not go out to work at all 11
It is all right for them to work part-time but they should not work full time 15
It should be entirely up to them whether they want to work or not 73
Other / Don't know 1

Q10 Do you agree or disagree with the following: There should be more help available for mothers with young children who want to stay at work

  %
Agree 76
Disagree 21
Don't know 3

Q11 To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? "I feel that I have a good work/life balance"?

  All In employment
  % %
Strongly agree 27 31
Tend to agree 36 39
Neither agree nor disagree 8 4
Tend to disagree 11 14
Strongly disagree 9 12
Don't know 9 *

Q12 Which one of the following best describes how you feel about your current level of borrowing?

  %
I have no borrowing 44
My current level of borrowing is not a problem 32
I worry occasionally about my level of borrowing 17
I worry most of the time about my level of borrowing 7
Don't know *

Q13 Which one of these statements comes closest to your views on laws about immigration in Britain?

  %
Laws on immigration should be abolished, so any one can come and live in Britain 2
Laws on immigration should be relaxed 8
Laws on immigration should remain as they are 19
Laws on immigration should be much tougher 58
Immigration should be stopped altogether 11
Don't know 2

Q14-Q16 There are different opinions about immigrants from other countries living in Britain. (By immigrants we mean people who come to live in Britain). How much do you agree or disagree with these statements?

  Strongly agree Tend to agree Neither agree nor disagree Tend to disagree Strongly disagree
  % % % % %
Q14 Immigration is generally good for the economy 14 31 16 19 20
Q15 Immigrants increase crime rates 16 17 19 28 20
Q16 Immigrants make Britain more open to new ideas and cultures 28 40 9 13 10

Q17 What proportion of people in your neighbourhood are from the same ethnic background as you? Would you say …

  %
All 15
Nearly all 37
Most 21
Half 10
Less than half 7
Hardly any 8
None 1
Don't know 1

Q18 Most people say they belong either to the middle class or to the working class. If you had to make a choice, would you call yourself middle?

  %
Middle class 40
Working class 57
Don't know 3

Q19 And which social class would you say your parents belonged to when you started primary school?

  %
Middle class 25
Working class 73
Don't know 2

Q20 Would you favour Britain becoming a republic or remaining a monarchy?

  %
Republic 22
Monarchy 65
Don't know 13

Q21 Do you think that Prince Charles should or should not give up his right to be the next monarch in favour of his eldest son, Prince William?

  %
Should 43
Should not 40
Don't know 17

Q22 Did you think Prince Charles should be getting married to Camilla Parker-Bowles or do you think they should have continued their relationship outside marriage?

  %
Should be getting married 63
Should continue their relationship outside marriage 17
Don't know 20

Q23 Do you think Camilla Parker-Bowles should become Queen at Prince Charles' side?

  %
Yes, should become Queen 23
No, should not become Queen 64
Don't know 13

Q24-Q26 There are differing views about the balance between guaranteeing civil liberties and the need to protect the country against terrorism. For each of the following, would you say it is acceptable or unacceptable for British authorities to do this in the fight against terrorism?

  Acceptable Unacceptable Don't know
  % % %
Q24 Detain suspected terrorists without trial 55 41 4
Q25 Place suspected terrorists under house arrest 74 21 4
Q26 Allow evidence obtained abroad by the use of torture to be used in British courts 19 77 4
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