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Ipsos MORI Political Monitor August 2012

Party leaders benefit from Olympic feel-good effect

Published:17 August 2012
Fieldwork:11-13 August 2012
Sub-Theme:Voting Intention (only those 'certain to vote')
Source:Social Research Institute
Party leaders benefit from Olympic feel-good effect, says Ipsos MORI poll

But, the public still think coalition is divided and do not think any of the three parties put the national interest first

CON 32 (+1); LAB 42 (-2); LIB DEM 11 (-1)

Download the InfographicThe Government and the three main political parties’ leaders appear to have benefited from a possible Olympic feel-good effect as their satisfaction ratings rise, according to the August Ipsos MORI Political Monitor.

A third of Britons (32%) are satisfied with the way the Government is running the country. This is 6-point increase on last month when only around a quarter of Britons (26%) were happy with its performance. Three in five (60%) are dissatisfied.

Two in five (39%) are satisfied with the way Prime Minister, David Cameron, is doing his job compared to over half (55%) who are dissatisfied. This is an increase of 6 points on last month’s score when only a third (33%) were satisfied.

Three in ten (31%) are satisfied with Nick Clegg as Deputy Prime Minister, compared to 58% who are dissatisfied. This is a 5-point rise from last month’s satisfaction score of 26%.

Two in five (41%) are satisfied with Ed Miliband as Labour Party leader and a similar percentage (43%) are dissatisfied. This is an 8-point rise compared to his July satisfaction score of 33%. This is Mr Miliband’s highest satisfaction (and highest net satisfaction of -2) rating since April 11, and his satisfaction rating amongst Labour voters (60%) is the highest since October 2010 (66%).

The Olympics feel-good effect does appear to be limited in the context of Mr Clegg’s statement on House of Lords reform and the Liberal Democrats decision to vote against the boundary changes for the 2015 election. Since last month, there has been little change in public perception of the Coalition:

  • Two in five (42%) say the Coalition is providing stable government compared to 39% in July. This is down from half (53%) in April 2011. Conservative and Liberal Democrat voters are more likely to think that the Coalition is providing stable government (63% of Conservatives and 59% of Liberal Democrats).
  • Just over a quarter (27%) say the Coalition is working as a united team, no change compared to the 26% in July. This is down from two in five (43%) in April 2011. Two-thirds (67%) say it is disunited (including a majority of Conservative (55%) and Liberal Democrat (54%) voters).
  • Just over half (54%) say the Coalition is unlikely to last until 2015 while two in five (39%) think it will. In July, 40% said it would last.

A clear majority of voters think that all three main political parties put the interest of their party before the national interest. Sixty-nine per cent think that the Conservative Party puts their own interests first, 63% the Liberal Democrats and 59% the Labour Party.

The Olympics may also have slightly affected people’s predictions for the economy over the next twelve months. Two in five (43%) now think the economy will get worse compared to 16% who think it will improve. Forty per cent think it will stay the same. This gives an Economic Optimism Index (EOI) of -27, an improvement on the July EOI of -32.

The poll also shows Labour holding a 10-point lead over the Conservatives among those that say they are certain to vote at the next general election, with 42% saying they would vote for Labour, 32% for the Conservative Party and 11% for the Liberal Democrats.

Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, Gideon Skinner, said:

“The party leaders and the Government are benefiting from an upbeat public mood generated by the Olympic Games. Even this, however, cannot overcome public scepticism that the Coalition is divided, and that all parties tend to put their own interest above the national interest. The question is whether this feel good factor will last.”


Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,007 adults 18+ across Great Britain by telephone, from August 11 to 13 2012. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.

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Gideon Skinner
Gideon Skinner

Head of Political Research

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