The Reuters/ Ipsos Political Monitor in November shows high levels of concern about the effects of the spending cuts, particularly to university tuition fees, local public services and policing. People are worried about cuts to public sector jobs, and have little confidence that there will be enough new jobs in the private sector to make up for losses in the public sector.
Satisfaction with the government, Cameron and Clegg continues to fall. People still think that no party having an overall majority is a bad thing for the country, and there is widespread belief that the Conservatives are making most of the decisions in the Coalition rather than the two parties making decisions jointly.
CON 36(-3); LAB 39(+3); LIB DEM 14(-)
Reuters/ Ipsos's November Political Monitor shows that despite growing acceptance of the need for spending cuts, the public is concerned about the possible effects of the cuts. The areas of most concern for the public are cuts to local public services, policing and university tuition fees - perhaps unsurprising given the student protests last week.
While over half of the public are concerned about cuts to benefits and changes to social housing (54% and 52%), a significant minority say they are not concerned about these issues (44% and 42%).
Despite concern about the effects of specific cuts, the government is continuing to convince the public that it has the best approach for dealing with the economy. A majority of the public still agrees with the government that there is a read need to cut spending on public services to pay off the national debt (56%).
Concern about cuts is accompanied by continuing pessimism about the economy. Just under half (48%) of the public believe that the general economic condition of the country will deteriorate over the next 12 months, and 28% believe it will get better. Our economic optimism index therefore remains negative at -20.
A significant minority of people in full time work are concerned about redundancy. Over two in five (44%) say they are concerned about losing their job in the next 12 months, although over half say they are not concerned (54%), broadly in line with the last recession of the early 1990s. Public sector workers are much more concerned about redundancy (61%) than those in the private sector (41%). Indeed, there is concern among the public as a whole that job losses in the public sector will not be replaced by vacancies in the private sector; four-fifths (80%) believe that there will not be enough new jobs in the private sector.
Voting Intention and views of leaders and parties
The November Reuters/ Ipsos Political Monitor in November shows a lead for Labour over the Conservatives, with voting shares of 39% and 36% respectively. The Liberal Democrat vote share is 14%, unchanged since last month. This is the highest share of the vote that we have recorded for the Labour party since October 2007.
Satisfaction with the government and its leaders has declined significantly since last month:
- A third (35%) are satisfied with the government, and 55% are dissatisfied, resulting in a net satisfaction score (the former figure minus the latter) of -20.
- The public is split on how David Cameron is performing as Prime Minister. Just under half (46%) are satisfied with the Prime Minister and a similar percentage (45%) are dissatisfied, giving a net rating of +1.
- Nick Clegg's ratings are the lowest we have recorded for him, with net satisfaction at -11. Around two fifths (38%) are satisfied with Nick Clegg as Deputy PM, while around half (49%) dissatisfied.
- Ed Miliband's ratings have also dropped since October, although he remains the most popular party leader with a net satisfaction score of +9. However, a third of the public (33%) are still unable to give an opinion.
Most people think that no party having an overall majority is bad for the country (55%), but opinion is more positive than before the election (only 34% thought it would be good for the country in April). Liberal Democrat voters are more likely to think that no party having an overall majority is good for the country (63%).
The perception that the Conservatives are making most of the decisions in the Coalition government persists, and has increased since June. Around two-thirds of the public (63%) now believe that the Conservatives are making most of the decisions in the new government (compared to 51% in June). A quarter think that decisions are made jointly (26%), with Conservative voters most likely to agree (48%).
Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 1,005 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 12-14th Nov 2010. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.