Labour slip to third place in September Ipsos Political Monitor poll

Ipsos's September 2009 Political Monitor, conducted 25-27 September, has the Conservatives down seven points to 36% since August, the Lib Dems up by eight points to 25% and Labour slipping to third place on 24% down two points among those certain to vote

Ipsos's September Political Monitor (carried out by telephone between 25-27 September among 1,003 British adults aged 18 and over) shows the Conservatives have lost support to the Liberal Democrats, with the Tories on 36%, Labour on 24% and the Liberal Democrats on 25%. Fieldwork for this poll began on Friday 25th September as the LibDem Conference wound to a close, and it seems clear that they have benefited from the attention. Nick Clegg's personal ratings have also increased since August.

Our analysis of this movement shows that it is in large part attributable to changes in certainty to vote: this month, fewer Conservative supporters say they are `certain to vote' (68% last month compared to 64% this month), which accounts for their drop in the headline figures (which are based only on those who say they are `certain to vote' in an upcoming election). LibDem supporters, on the other hand, are more likely to say they are `certain to vote' this month - at 62%, compared to 55% last month. It is important to note that the LibDems traditionally get a 'bump' in the polls following their conference; for example, in September 2004 they jumped from 21% to 25% after their autumn conference before the 2005 General Election. Labour's share of the vote has not changed significantly from last month. Three in ten (30%) feel the Conservative party is best at looking after the interests of people like me (compared to Labour on 26% and LibDems on 17%), and the same number feel the Tories lead on being clear and united about what its policies should be (compared to the LibDems on 17% and Labour on 14%). Half (50%) of the public believe that the Conservatives are ready to form the next government, a nine point increase from April 2009. In terms of which party is best on key issues, the Conservative party is seen to be better at tackling asylum and immigration (they lead over Labour by 14 points), crime and anti-social behaviour (lead Labour by 11 points) and managing the economy (lead by 5 points). Labour is seen to be the better party at dealing with healthcare (lead Tories by 15 points) and unemployment (lead by 5 points).160 Two in five (41%) believe that, of the three leaders, David Cameron would make the most capable Prime Minister, almost twice as many as in June 2007. He is seen to be better than Brown in a crisis and more in touch with ordinary people, while Brown is seen to have a better understanding of world problems. Nick Clegg is seen as the most honest of the three politicians. One in four (26%) are satisfied with the way the Government is running the country and seven in ten are dissatisfied (69%, compared to 71% last month). Taking the `net' rating (the percentage satisfied minus the percentage dissatisfied) puts the Government on -43, which is the highest reported satisfaction level for the Government since March. Almost three in ten (29%) are satisfied with the way Gordon Brown is doing his job as Prime Minister and two in three (65%) are dissatisfied, giving a net score of -36, matching last month's score. David Cameron's ratings also closely match last month's: 45% are satisfied and 39% dissatisfied with his performance. Nearly half (48%) are now satisfied with the way Nick Clegg is doing his job as leader of the Liberal Democrats, and 27% are dissatisfied with his performance, giving him a net satisfaction score of +21, a five point increase since August.

Technical Details

Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 1,003 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 25th-27th Sept 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.


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