Ipsos's September Political Monitor, carried out by telephone between 12-14 September 2008 among 1,017 adults age 18 and over, shows the Conservative party on 52% and the Labour party on 24% among those saying they are "absolutely certain to vote", a Conservative lead of 28 points. This is both the highest Conservative lead ever recorded by Ipsos, and also the largest160Conservative share we have ever recorded. Of those certain to vote, 12% express support for the Liberal Democrats, although the share is higher among the public as a whole.
With three-quarters160(76%) dissatisfied with the Government, and seven in ten (69%)160with Gordon Brown, it is perhaps surprising that half (51%) agree that Brown160'is doing a reasonable job in difficult circumstances', although 42% disagree. Despite this however, more than half (54%) also160think that the Conservatives are ready to form the next Government,160although this figure has dropped four points from 58% last month. One in three (30%) disagree that the Conservatives are ready to govern.
The160Conservatives are160now seen to be better than Labour on160'having the best team of leaders' (39% Conservative160vs.16021%160Labour) and160are also seen as the 'best party on160understanding the economic problems facing Britain' (36% Conservative vs. 27% Labour).160Labour is160seen to be slightly more likely than the160Tories to160'promise anything to win votes' (40% Labour vs. 36% Conservative). However, the160two parties are seen as160nearly160equal on160'best understanding Britain's social problems' (27% Conservative vs. 25% Labour),160and on this measure the LibDems rate well at 18%.
Almost two-thirds (63%) agree that 'British society is broken', and almost half (49%) agree that David Cameron represents modern Britain (36% disagree). When asked what they like most and least about Cameron, the public list his age, personality, being a family man, oratory skills and being ordinary and in touch as the positives. They dislike him for being untrustworthy, being posh,160breaking promises, his image overall, dithering and arrogance. Brown on the other hand160is liked for his experience, sound judgement/integrity, personality, honesty, statesmanship and being a family man, and he is disliked for being untrustworthy, dithering, lacking statesmanship, breaking promises, having a bad overall image, being incompetent and being out of touch.
When asked about their views on Prime Ministers, it appears that people prefer someone more qualified than themselves as a leader: seven in ten (71%) would prefer a Prime Minister who is better qualified than them in terms of background and experience, while just one quarter (24%) would prefer a Prime Minister with a similar background and qualification to themselves. Looking at the sub-groups, it appears that middle class Britons (social grade ABC1) are less likely to prefer someone like themselves with just one in five (21%) agreeing, while working class Britons (social grade C2DE) are more likely to prefer a Prime Minister similar to themselves (31%).
When asked about how PMs make decisions, two-thirds (64%) of Britons say they would 'prefer a Prime Minister who mainly acts on the views and opinions of the general public to make decisions', as opposed to a Prime Minister who 'mainly trusts their own experience and judgement to make decisions.'
Ipsos interviewed a representative quota sample of 1017 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 12th-14th September 2008. 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.