Measured increases in economic optimism and government approval, although there are concerns about the Coalition’s unity
CON 40(+3); LAB 40(-1); LIB DEM 9(-1)
The Reuters/Ipsos MORI April Political Monitor shows an increase in economic optimism in the wake of official figures showing surprise drops in both unemployment and inflation.
Three in ten (31%) think that the economy will improve over the next 12 months, the highest percentage since last July to be optimistic about Britain’s short term economic future. Two-fifths (42%) think that the situation will get worse over the next 12 months, although this is the first month of 2011 in which less than half have been pessimistic about our economic situation.
Satisfaction with the performance of the government has also increased slightly and is also at the highest level so far this year, although more people remain dissatisfied (55%) than satisfied (37%). In another poll, we found that 43% of the public are satisfied with the way the government is handling the crisis in Libya.
Over half of the public think that the Coalition is providing stable government and is able to react quickly to a crisis (both 53%). However, fewer think it is dealing with the economic crisis effectively (42% agree, a fall from 59% in May 2010) or that it is working as united team (43%, compared to 63% last May). Indeed, the government’s ratings on all these measures have fallen since last May, when the government was enjoying its ‘honeymoon bounce’. Two-thirds think that most of the decisions in the Coalition government are being made by the Conservatives (63%), compared to only a quarter who think that decisions are made jointly between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats (25%).
The public remain sceptical that coalition government is good for Britain. Most people think that it is a bad thing for the country that no party achieved an overall majority at last year’s general election (58%), an increase since last May (52%).
Our voting intention figures show the Conservatives on a parity with Labour – both parties are on 40% and the Liberal Democrats on 9%, amongst all those absolutely certain to vote.
There is little to separate Cameron and Miliband in terms of their personal ratings; around two-fifths are satisfied with each (44% and 41% respectively). Around a third (35%) are satisfied with Nick Clegg, although half are dissatisfied (53%).
Cameron maintains his lead as the most capable Prime Minister by half of the public (45%), compared with a quarter who say Miliband (25%) and fewer than one in ten who say Clegg (7%).
Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,000 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 15-17th April 2011. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.