Ipsos Political Monitor July 2014

July's Political Monitor reveals Boris Johnson as the most popular leading Conservative, with Michael Gove least popular, while less than one in four think Ed Miliband has what it takes to be a good Prime Minister.

David Cameron leads Ed Miliband as having what it takes to be a good Prime Minister

CON 32 (+1); LAB 35 (+1); LIB DEM 8 (nc); UKIP 12 (-2)

The Ipsos Political Monitor for July shows David Cameron is the most liked party leader - though all of them have a majority disliking their policies. Just over four in ten like the Prime Minister (44%), while 36% like his policies, ahead of Labour leader Ed Miliband (33% like him, 31% his policies), Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (38% like him, 23% his policies – the lowest rated politician on policy) and UKIP leader Nigel Farage (33% like him, 27% his policies).

All the leaders are less liked than Boris Johnson, though, who is also ahead of other leading Conservatives. Mr Johnson is liked by 58% compared with 40% for Home Secretary Theresa May, 30% for Chancellor George Osborne and just 22% for Michael Gove, moved from Education Secretary to Chief Whip in this week’s Cabinet reshuffle – the least popular politician in our survey. This was also true for policy, with 45% saying they like Mr Johnson’s policies, compared with 35% for Mr Osborne, 34% for Mrs May and 25% for Mr Gove.

David Cameron is highest rated as having what it takes to be a good Prime Minister, with 46% agreeing and 44% disagreeing. He holds a big lead over Ed Miliband; just over one in five (22%) agree the Labour leader has what it takes to be a good Prime Minister, with two thirds (65%) disagreeing.

Of the bookies' favourites to be next Conservative leader, Boris Johnson and Theresa May are seen as the best Prime Ministerial material. Around three in ten agree that they have what it takes to be a good Prime Minister (32% for Mr Johnson, 30% for Mrs May), with around half disagreeing (54% for Mr Johnson, 48% for Mrs May).  Just under one in five (18%) agree for George Osborne, with 61% disagreeing, and just 11% think Michael Gove has what it takes to be a good Prime Minister, with 66% disagreeing.

Voting intention has remained broadly stable since last month, with Labour retaining a three percentage point lead over the Conservatives. Both parties are up one percentage point this month, with Labour on 35% and the Conservatives on 32%. The Liberal Democrats are unchanged on 8%, while UKIP are down two percentage points on 12%.

Just under half (46%) think the economic condition of the country will improve over the next year, with 29% thinking it will stay the same and 21% thinking it will get worse. This gives an Ipsos Economic Optimism Index score (% improve minus % get worse) of +25. This is down from +35 in May, the highest ever Economic Optimism Index score, when 53% thought the economy would improve, though is still high.

Satisfaction ratings for the main party leaders and government have remained stable since last month, although with a slight fall for Ed Miliband:

  • Satisfaction in David Cameron is at 33%, with 59% dissatisfied, giving him a net rating (% satisfied minus % dissatisfied) of -26.
  • One in four (23%) are satisfied with Nick Clegg’s performance as Deputy Prime Minister, with 65% dissatisfied.
  • Ed Miliband has a net rating of -33, with 28% satisfied and 61% dissatisfied.
  • Satisfaction in Nigel Farage is at 38%, with 45% dissatisfied, giving him a net rating of -7.
  • Net satisfaction in the performance of the government is at -26, with 33% satisfied and 59% dissatisfied.

Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos said:

“Our poll helps put the reshuffle in perspective.  Even though fieldwork was undertaken before the reshuffle was announced, it shows the lack of popularity for Michael Gove and his policies. Away from the Westminster changes towards important issues for the public, it shows that on the key battleground of the economy the Chancellor is in the unusual position of getting more credit for his policies than he does personally, while David Cameron maintains his lead over Ed Miliband as having what it takes to be a good Prime Minister.”


Technical note:

Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 1,000 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 12th – 15th July 2014.  Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.

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