CON 40% (-3); LAB 32% (+6); LIB DEM 16% (-4)
Ipsos's January Political Monitor (carried out by telephone between 26-28 January among 1,001 British adults aged 18 and over) shows, across those certain to vote, a sharp swing back to Labour.
Among those certain to vote, 40% intend to vote Conservative (down from 43% since last month), 32% intend to vote Labour (up from 26%), and 16% for the Liberal Democrats (down from 20%). This Labour vote share is the highest we have recorded since March 2009. Assuming votes swing evenly across the country, these vote shares would translate into a hung parliament, with the Conservatives around 9 seats short of an overall majority.
A factor which may have had an impact this month is a return to a more optimistic economic outlook after the recent GDP figures, as well as recent improved unemployment figures. Economic optimism for the next year has improved on last month. Almost half (44%) now think that the economy will improve over the next 12 months (compared with only 32% last month), and 24% think it will get worse. Ipsos's Economic Optimism Index therefore stands at +20.
Further, the December Monitor was conducted in the aftermath of the Pre-Budget Report, which appeared to curtail economic optimism. Ratings for voting intention and economic optimism have broadly returned to the levels in November.
The government and Gordon Brown's ratings have also improved - a third (33%) are now satisfied with the way Gordon Brown is doing his job as Prime Minister (compared with 28% last month) and a quarter (25%) are satisfied with the Government (up from 21%).
Satisfaction with David Cameron has declined since December, with a net satisfaction (the percentage satisfied minus percentage dissatisfied) score of +3 now compared to +6 in December and +13 in November.
Nick Clegg remains, on balance, the most popular of the three main party leaders; his net satisfaction is now +16 (an increase of three points since last month) although a third (32%) say they don't know.
This month, we also asked the public whether or not they like both Gordon Brown and David Cameron, and their respective parties. Three fifths (61%) said they do not like Gordon Brown - which represents a small improvement for Brown since July 2008 when 65% disliked him. Dislike of his party remains largely unchanged (57% now compared to 55% in July 2008). Attitudes to Cameron have worsened over the last 18 months, however. Almost half now dislike Cameron (46%) compared to 36% in July 2008.
Despite general economic optimism, and the recent GDP figures, most of the public still feel Britain is still in recession; three quarters (77%) believe that the recession in Britain is not yet over, and only one in ten (9%) believe that the economy will return to where it was before the recession within a year.
Part of this poll was sponsored by the Mirror and the other part was sponsored by the Observer.
Technical DetailsIpsos interviewed a representative sample of 1,001 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 26-28 January 2010. 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.