Conservatives lead Labour as party seen as most fit to govern and with good team of leaders. Labour leads on being concerned about people in need, but eight in ten describe it as divided
One year on from when Jeremy Corbyn first took the helm of the party, Labour’s image ratings remain some way behind the Conservatives, and are even getting worse, according to Ipsos MORI’s latest Political Monitor.
When asked about various favourable and unfavourable party attributes, Labour struggles on a number of key qualities. Just a quarter (26%) of the public see Labour as a party ‘fit to govern’ – down 9 points from September 2015. Two in five say that Labour ‘understands the problems facing Britain’ (41% - down 10 points), one in three that ‘looks after the interests of people like me’ (33% - down 10 points), and one in five say it ‘has a good team of leaders’ (21% - down 6 points). Slightly more people now see the party as being ‘out of date’ – three in five (61%) compared with 55% one year ago, and more also see Labour as ‘divided’ – four in five (82%) compared with three in four (75%) a year ago. There has been little change from last year for Labour with public views on them ‘keeping their promises’ (23%), ‘promising anything to win votes’ (57%), and being seen as ‘extreme’ (38%).
The Conservative party scores better than Labour on many qualities, while there has been less change in perceptions from September 2015. More than half say the Conservative are ‘fit to govern’ (53% - down 3 points) and just under half see them as having a ‘good team of leaders’ (47% - down 2 points). Half say they ‘understand the problems facing Britain’ (48% - no change), and 37% say they are ‘concerned about people in real need in Britain’ (up 5 points). Four in ten say the party ‘looks after the interests of people like me’ (38% - up 1 point), a quarter say it ‘keeps its promises’ (26% - down 4 points), and two-thirds say it will ‘promise anything to win votes’ (65% - down 3 points). More than half say they see the party as ‘divided’ (52% - up 14 points), while a quarter see the party as ‘extreme’ (27%, down 2) and 45% see it as ‘out of date’ (down 3 points).
Tim Farron is yet to make a significant improvement with his Liberal Democrats from September 2015. One-third see the party as ‘understanding the problems facing Britain (34% - down 12 points), and fewer see them as ‘different from other parties’ (45% - down 10 points), although fewer also see them as being ‘divided’ (35% - down 15 points).
The data also reveal that UKIP may have lost some of its momentum from last year. Three in ten say the party ‘understands the problems facing Britain’ (30% - down 13 points) and three in ten also see them ‘concerned about people in real need in Britain’ (29% - down 10 points). More now see them as being ‘divided’ (64% - up 12 points), and they are still seen as the most extreme, although less so than a year ago (57% - down 12 points). Fewer also now see them as being ‘different from other parties’ (69% - down 7 points) although remain comparatively higher than the other parties on this attribute.
Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, said:
“Labour has made no progress on key competency ratings over the year, where it lies a long way behind the Conservatives, while it has also slipped on some ‘softer’ image issues too. Notably, its image as being divided remains very high, despite Jeremy Corbyn’s second leadership victory last month.”
The facts may have changed on Brexit - but people’s minds have not
Reflecting the national vote in the 2016 referendum, voters in Bedford split almost the same way, with 51.8% voting to leave the EU. Two years on, we joined the BBC Radio 4 Today programme to ask local Bedford residents what they have to say on the matter now.