Labour lead of three points as Miliband's personal ratings fall to lowest ever

The latest Political Monitor shows a softening in Labour's lead to just three points over the Conservatives. Meanwhile, Ed Miliband's personal ratings continue their downward trend over the year.

CON 34 (+4); LAB 37 (-3); LIB DEM 10 (n/c); UKIP 11 (n/c)

The latest Ipsos Political Monitor shows a softening in Labour’s lead to just three points over the Conservatives. Meanwhile, Ed Miliband’s personal ratings continue their downward trend over the year.

Six in ten (60%) British adults say they are dissatisfied with Ed Miliband, while 24% are satisfied. His net satisfaction rating of -36 (% satisfied minus % dissatisfied) is his lowest ever, in line with the lowest scored by Iain Duncan-Smith and William Hague  (-37).

Even among Labour supporters he has negative ratings, with 52% of Labour supporters dissatisfied with his performance and 40% satisfied. This is his lowest rating among his own supporters Ipsos has recorded since he became leader.

The poll also shows that the public is less likely to attribute some key leadership qualities to Mr Miliband than to Mr Cameron. Almost twice as many people think Mr Cameron is a capable leader as think the same of Mr Miliband (53% and 28% respectively). Similarly, Mr Cameron is seen as the best leader in a crisis. 47% say Mr Cameron is good in a crisis compared with 20% who say the same of Mr Miliband. The Prime Minister is also the most likely to be seen as having sound judgement: 40% compared with 32% for Ed Miliband, 27% for Nick Clegg and 19% for Nigel Farage.  

Just one in five (19%) think the Labour leader has got a lot of personality, while double (40%) think Mr Cameron does.

However, David Cameron leads his rivals on some negative characteristics. Seven in ten (70%) believe the Prime Minister is out of touch with ordinary people (49% Mr Miliband, 56% Mr Clegg, 36% Mr Farage). Eight in ten (79%) believe Mr Cameron looks after some sections of society more than others (58% each for all three other leaders). Around half of Britons believe the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are more style than substance (52% and 51% respectively) while 46% say the same of Mr Farage and 41% for Mr Miliband.

Messrs Cameron and Miliband are tied on being seen to understand the problems facing Britain (50% and 52% respectively), while Mr Farage is the least likely to be perceived to understand Britain’s problems on 36%.

Among all those certain to vote at a general election Labour hold a three point lead over the Conservatives. However, this falls from a 10 point lead among all those naming a party. This difference is down to a sharp fall in Labour supporters’ likelihood to say they are certain to vote. 53% of Labour supporters say they are certain to vote, compared with 66% of Conservatives, 58% of Liberal Democrats and 67% of UKIP supporters.

 Satisfaction with the government and other leaders is as follows:

  • David Cameron has a net satisfaction rating of -20 (36% satisfied, 56% dissatisfied), down three points from August. Seven in ten (71%) Conservatives are satisfied with the Prime Minister compared with 23% who are dissatisfied.
  • Nick Clegg has a net satisfaction rating of -40 (24% satisfied minus 64% dissatisfied), down 5 points from last month.
  • Nigel Farage has a net satisfaction rating of -7 (29% satisfied minus 36% dissatisfied).  A third (35%) say they don’t know.
  • Three in ten (32%) Britons are satisfied with the way the government is running the country while 60% are dissatisfied, exactly the same as last month. 

This poll also records the highest level of economic optimism since November 2009, continuing the upward trend in optimism seen since March. 46% now expect the general economic condition of the country to improve in the next 12 months while 23% think it will get worse and 28% believe it will stay the same. This gives an Economic Optimism Index score of +23 (% improve minus % get worse).  

Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos said:

There has been much discussion over the perceived softness of Labour’s lead, and this poll shows that clearly with a fall in Labour supporters’ certainty to vote giving them just a three point lead. David Cameron maintains his lead on key Prime Ministerial qualities on being capable and good in a crisis – although remains vulnerable on being seen as out of touch. Ed Miliband’s satisfaction ratings, though, have fallen from 40% at the end of last year to 24% this month.”

Technical Note

Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 1,000 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 7th – 9th September 2013. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.


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