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Ipsos MORI Political Monitor May 2009

Published:1 June 2009
Fieldwork:29-31 May 2009
Sub-Theme:Political Monitor
Keywords:Conservative Party, David Cameron, Economic optimism, Gordon Brown, Lib Dems, Nick Clegg, Satisfaction ratings
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 CON 40%(-1) LAB 18%(-10) LIB DEM 18%(-4)

Ipsos MORI's May Political Monitor (carried out by telephone between 29-31 May among 1,001 British adults aged 18 and over) shows that among those absolutely certain to vote, the Conservative Party lead the Labour Party by 22 points. The Conservatives are on 40% (a drop of one point from last month), Labour has fallen to 18% (down from 28% last month) and the LibDems have dropped four points to 18%. This leaves 22% giving a vote for other parties, double the number of ‘other' votes collected in April 2009.

This ‘other' category breaks down as follows:

  • Scottish/Welsh Nationalist: 4%
  • Greens: 6%
  • UKIP: 7%
  • BNP: 4%
  • Other: 3%

The expenses scandal is clearly being felt across government. Just 18% (compared to 23% last month) are satisfied with the way the Government is running the country, and more than three-quarters (77%, vs. 70% last month) are dissatisfied. Taking the net rating (the per cent satisfied minus dissatisfied) puts the Government on -59, which ties for the month of July 2008 for Government's worst rating since August 1996.

Dissatisfaction with the Government is now at the level it was during the Black Wednesday crisis. This is notable as the Government has now been in power a similar length of time as John Major's government was at the time.

A quarter (26%) are satisfied with the way Gordon Brown is doing his job as Prime Minister and seven in ten (69%) are dissatisfied. This is a drop from last month's ratings, which showed 32% satisfied and 60% dissatisfied.

David Cameron's ratings have also declined since last month. While over half (51%, compared to 52% last month) remain satisfied with the way he is doing his job as leader of the Conservative Party, more than a third (35%) are now dissatisfied, up from 29% last month.

Nick Clegg is the only one of the three leaders to see improved satisfaction ratings this month. Nearing half (45%) are satisfied with the way he is doing his job as leader of the Liberal Democrats, and 23% are dissatisfied. This represents a real improvement for the Liberal Democrat leader, as last month 39% were satisfied and 25% dissatisfied with Clegg.

Those who think the economy will get worse over the next 12 months still outnumber those who think it will improve, but only just; economic optimism remains in line with April's improved findings. The proportion of those who feel the economic condition of the country will improve in the next twelve months is 33%, while just over a third (35%) feel it will get worse. The Economic Optimism Index (those who think it will get better minus those who think it will get worse) is therefore -2, which is unchanged from last month.

Technical Details

Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,001 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 29th - 31st May 2009.  Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.

Where percentages do not sum to 100, this may be due to computer rounding, the exclusion of "don't know" categories, or multiple answers.  An asterisk (*) denotes any value of less than half a per cent. Voting intention figures exclude those who say they would not vote, are undecided or refuse to name a party and in the headline figures, those who are not absolutely certain to vote.

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