Conservatives and Labour still close in the polls

With the opening weeks of the election campaign behind us, Ipsos MORI's Political Monitor finds the Conservatives and Labour still fighting it out in the race for Number 10.

Conservatives and Labour still close in the polls

With just three weeks to go Conservatives and Labour still close in the polls

Public most satisfied with David Cameron despite gains for Miliband and Clegg

CON 33 (NC); LAB 35 (+1); LIB DEM 7 (-1); UKIP 10 (-3); GREEN 8 (+2)

With the opening weeks of the election campaign behind us, Ipsos MORI’s Political Monitor finds the Conservatives and Labour still fighting it out in the race for Number 10. The first of our April polls finds Labour gaining one point from March (on 35%) with the Conservatives staying level at 33% (no change from March). UKIP have lost some ground falling by 3 points to 10% (from 13% in March). The Greens have increased their support by 2 points to 8% (up from 6% in March), while the Liberal Democrats are at 7% down one point from March.

The Ipsos MORI poll finds that 60% of those expressing a voting intention have made up their mind on who they will vote for. Conservative voters are the most sure they’ve made up their minds (69%), followed by Labour supporters (65%). However, Liberal Democrat and UKIP supporters are less sure (with 33% and 51%, respectively, having definitely decided who they will vote for).

Leader satisfaction ratings

David Cameron remains the leader with the highest net satisfaction level (% satisfied minus % dissatisfied) despite gains for both Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg.

  • Satisfaction in David Cameron is at 39% satisfied, with 53% dissatisfied, giving him a net rating of -14.
  • Satisfaction in Ed Miliband is 33%, with 52% dissatisfied, giving him a net rating of -19 (up from -31 in March). Satisfaction in Nick Clegg is up by 1 point since March. 27% say they are satisfied with Clegg verses the 58% who say they are dissatisfied. This gives him a net rating of -31.
  • Satisfaction in Nigel Farage is down 5 points from March. 30% say they are satisfied with Farage, with 56% who are dissatisfied (up 9 points from March). This gives him a net rating of -26.

Despite Ed Miliband’s satisfaction rating gain, in the eyes of the public, he lags behind David Cameron on a number of Prime Ministerial attributes. Only 33% think he would be a capable leader compared to 57% for David Cameron. When asked if Miliband would be good in a crisis, just 24% believe he would against 51% who think Cameron would be. When asked if either ‘has a clear vision for Britain’ 45% say Miliband does while 56% say Cameron does. Fewer people however believe that Ed Miliband is ‘out of touch with ordinary people’ when compared to David Cameron (42% compared to 65%), while more people also believe that Miliband is less likely than Cameron to ‘look after some sections of society more than others’ (58% think Miliband is while 75% think David Cameron is). Ed Miliband also leads on ‘understanding the problems facing Britain’, at 50% to David Cameron’s 47%.

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

“The first weeks of the campaign haven’t helped either main party stake out a clear lead. Labour has a marginal advantage, amid some signs that Ed Miliband’s ratings are improving – but like most opposition leaders he still lags behind David Cameron on key Prime Ministerial attributes, so there is still all to play for.”

Technical note:

  • Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,000 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain.
  • Interviews were conducted by telephone 12-15 April 2015.
  • Data is weighted to match the profile of the population.

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