Labour and Conservatives neck and neck, while Boris Johnson has biggest impact on potential Conservative vote share over other possible challengers

The Ipsos Political Monitor for August shows that support for the Conservatives and Labour is tied at 33% if there were a General Election tomorrow, the first time since October 2013.

CON 33 (+1); LAB 33 (-2); LIB DEM 7 (-1); UKIP 13 (+1)

The Ipsos Political Monitor for August shows that support for the Conservatives and Labour is tied at 33% if there were a General Election tomorrow, the first time since October 2013. All the parties’ vote shares have changed little from last month, with the Liberal Democrats down one point to 7% and UKIP up one to 13%.

In this survey, people were asked which party they would vote for with Boris Johnson, Theresa May or George Osborne as Conservative leader, with all other party leaders remaining the same. Whilst these questions explore hypothetical voting intentions and should not be taken as representing who people would actually vote for in these scenarios in real life, they highlight that Boris Johnson could make the biggest potential difference to the Conservative vote if he was leading the party. The findings show that Boris Johnson makes a significant difference by increasing the Conservative vote share among all voters to 39%, compared with Theresa May who makes little difference to the current situation (32%). George Osborne as leader drops the Conservatives' vote share to 29% but increases Labour support (to 38%).


Furthermore, Johnson attracts supporters from all parties, taking a fifth of the Liberal Democrat and UKIP vote (21% and 22% respectively) and 11% of Labour supporters. Having said that, 15% of Conservative voters say they would support another party under Johnson’s leadership.

Satisfaction ratings for the main party leaders and government have remained broadly stable since last month, although with a slight rise for all the leaders:

  • Satisfaction in David Cameron is at 38%, with 54% dissatisfied, giving him a net rating (% satisfied minus % dissatisfied) of -16.
  • Only 26% are satisfied with Nick Clegg’s performance as Deputy Prime Minister, with 64% dissatisfied.
  • Ed Miliband has a net rating of -29, with 29% satisfied and 58% dissatisfied.
  • Satisfaction in Nigel Farage is at 39%, with 43% dissatisfied, giving him a net rating of -4.
  • Net satisfaction in the performance of the government is at -18, with 37% satisfied and 55% dissatisfied

Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos; said:

“Boris Johnson is by some way the most liked leading Conservative - if not of any party - and this survey confirms the potential impact he could have, giving them a lead in the popular vote and attracting prospective voters from parties across the spectrum. But this is still only hypothetical at this stage, and our previous research shows that despite this popularity the public are yet to be persuaded he has what it takes to be a good Prime Minister.”

Technical note

Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 1,003 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 9th – 11th August 2014. 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. Data are based on all adults unless otherwise stated.

From August 2014, Ipsos has started including a small proportion of mobile numbers in its Political Monitor sample. Our testing has shown this makes no significant difference to our figures. More details on our methodology.  


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