Ipsos Political Monitor April 2009

Ipsos's April Political Monitor shows that among those absolutely certain to vote, the Conservative Party lead the Labour Party by thirteen points.

CON 41%(-1) LAB 28%(-4) LIB DEM 22%(+8)

Ipsos's April Political Monitor (carried out by telephone between 17-19 April among 1,011 British adults aged 18 and over) shows that among those absolutely certain to vote, the Conservative Party lead the Labour Party by thirteen points. The Conservatives are now on 41% (down one point since last month) and Labour has fallen to 28% (from 32% last month). The main beneficiaries of this are the Liberal Democrats, who are now on 22%, up by eight points since last month.

David Cameron's personal ratings remain high, with more than half (52%) satisfied with the way he is doing his job as leader of the Conservatives. Despite this however, the proportion of people who feel that the Conservatives are ready to form the next government has dropped from 54% in September 2008 to 41% now.

Almost two-thirds (62%) say that they personally know someone who has been made redundant in the past six months, and 86% describe the current state of the British economy as `poor'.

However, despite these challenges, there is a clear sense of optimism about the future. Just three in ten (30%) now say they think their personal financial circumstances will get worse over the next few months, compared to 39% saying the same in November 2008. And more than two-thirds (68%) feel the British economy will be in a good state in five years' time, up from 54% in April 2003. This sense of positivity about the future is reflected in Ipsos's monthly Economic Optimism Index.

Those who think the economy will get worse over the next 12 months only just outnumber those who think it will improve; the proportion of those who think it will improve in the next twelve months has increased by 12 points since last month to 35%, while 37% feel it will get worse (a 15-point drop since last month). The Economic Optimism Index (those who think it will get better minus those who think it will get worse) is therefore -2, a 27 point improvement on last month and the most positive score we have measured since February 2001. This suggests an increasing belief that the slump is bottoming out.

Other key findings from this month's Monitor include:

  • The Conservatives hold a five point lead over Labour (30% vs. 25%) on being seen as the party with the best policies on managing the economy, a significant fall in their lead since last summer
  • The majority (71%) are satisfied with their standard of living, although more than one in five (21%) are dissatisfied, up 9 points from 2003
  • Over two in five (44%) of those in full-time work are concerned about the possibility of being made redundant in the next year, but more than half (55%) are not concerned
  • The public are split between wanting a society which emphasises the social and collective provision of welfare (47%) and preferring a society where individuals are encouraged to look after themselves (49%). Similarly, 51% prefer a society which emphasises similar incomes and rewards for everyone and 44% prefer a society which allows people to make and keep as much money as they can
  • On balance, more people think that a future Government should raise taxes (53%) rather than reduce spending on public services (35%) if it has to reduce its debts

Download the April Political Monitor topline  Download the April Political Monitor full computer tables Download the April Political Monitor trend charts Download slides from Ben Page's press briefing

Technical Details

Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 1,011 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 17th-19th April 2009.  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.

More insights about Public Sector