No EU bounce or gay marriage effect as support for parties stays unchanged in latest Ipsos poll
CON 30 (n/c); LAB 42 (-1); LIB DEM 7 (-1); UKIP 9 (n/c)
The February Ipsos Political Monitor shows that despite a tumultuous month in politics including Chris Huhne’s resignation, the vote on gay marriage, David Cameron’s speech promising a referendum on EU membership and his negotiations over the EU budget, very little has changed in public support for the major political parties.
Support for the Conservative Party, among those certain to vote, remains at 30%, the same as it was in January while Labour are ahead by 12 points on 42% (down 1 point from a month ago). For the second month in a row UKIP (9%) are ahead of the Liberal Democrats (7%) who have fallen to their lowest level Ipsos has recorded since April 1990.
Although support for the Liberal Democrats has only fallen by 1 point in a month it shows that the low level recorded in January was not a blip. Nick Clegg’s own satisfaction ratings have fallen and he remains the least popular leader of the three main parties. 24% are satisfied with Nick Clegg, 64% are dissatisfied. His rating of -40 is down seven points since January 2013.
David Cameron’s satisfaction ratings are now in line with those of Gordon Brown at the same point in his premiership. His net rating of -24 (34% are satisfied with David Cameron’s performance as Prime Minister and 58% are dissatisfied) is exactly the same as Gordon Brown’s after 34 months as Prime Minister – albeit this was in fact Mr Brown’s last month in office and in the middle of a general election campaign.
- 34% are satisfied with Ed Miliband, 45% are dissatisfied, with a net rating of -11. However, only 48% of Labour supporters are satisfied with Miliband’s performance, the lowest since March 2012 and comparatively low against the 75% of Conservatives satisfied with David Cameron
- 25% are satisfied with the performance of the government, 66% dissatisfied. The net satisfaction of -41 is down four points from January (following another four point fall from December to January.)
Economic optimism in Britain is also unchanged since January, with an Economic Optimism Index score of -22. One in five (22%) believe the state of the economy will improve over the next 12 months but 44% believe it will get worse.
Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos, said
“Despite everything that has happened in Westminster – and Brussels – over the last month it doesn’t seem to have changed the underlying level of public support for the major parties. However, this poll confirms that last month was not just a blip for the Liberal Democrats as they are once again in fourth place, behind UKIP.”
Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 1,018 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 9 – 11 February 2013. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.