Jeremy Corbyn seen by public as more honest than most politicians but lags behind David Cameron on other Prime Ministerial attributes Perceptions of Labour as divided increase
Less than two weeks into his tenure as the new Labour leader Ipsos MORI’s detailed image ratings show the public’s views on Jeremy Corbyn and the party he leads.
More than half (54%) of Britons say Jeremy Corbyn is ‘more honest than most politicians’ compared to three in ten (30%) who say the same for David Cameron. However only 32% think he’s a capable leader compared to 62% saying this for David Cameron. When asked if either ‘has sound judgment’ 32% say Mr Corbyn possesses this while 46% say Mr Cameron does. Less of the public however believe that Jeremy Corbyn is ‘out of touch with ordinary people’ when compared to David Cameron (39% versus 64%), but he falls far behind David Cameron when being seen as ‘patriotic’ (37% compared to 76%).
Mr Corbyn’s Labour party leads the Conservatives as concerned about people in real need (61% versus 32%). Forty-three per cent also say Labour is the party that ‘looks after the interests of people like me’ compared to 37% who say the same of the Conservatives. More Britons however see the Conservatives as a party fit to govern (56% compared to 35%) as well as being a party with a ‘good team of leaders’ (49% compared to 27%). Worryingly for Labour three in four (75%) see the party as being divided compared to 38% who say the same for the Conservatives.
When asked to compare the party leaders with their parties, 37% of Britons say they like Mr Corbyn while four in ten (40%) say they like the Labour party. Jeremy Corbyn is liked slightly more than Ed Miliband was in March 2015 (30% liked Miliband then, compared to 37% who like Corbyn now). David Cameron fares slightly better than Jeremy Corbyn with 44% of Britons saying they like him. His party shares similar ratings to Labour with four in ten (41%) saying they like the Conservative party.
In his first ratings as leader one in three (33%) say that they are satisfied with Jeremy Corbyn doing his job compared to 36% who are dissatisfied, while three in ten (31%) are yet to make up their mind. This compares with Ed Miliband’s first ratings as Labour leader in October 2010 of 41% satisfied and 22% dissatisfied. Forty-two per cent say they are satisfied with David Cameron doing his job as Prime Minister while 52% are dissatisfied.
September’s Political Monitor voting intention figures show a Conservative lead over Labour. Thirty-nine percent say they would vote Conservative if a general election were held tomorrow while 34% would vote Labour. The Liberal Democrats stand on 9%, while 7% say they would vote UKIP. Ipsos MORI continues to review its methodological approach to measuring voting intention (please see technical note below).
Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, said:
“Jeremy Corbyn’s appeal as a different type of politician is clear – the best ratings on honesty, a stronger personality than Ed Miliband, and he's seen to be leading a party concerned about those most in need. But David Cameron still dominates on key Prime Ministerial attributes such as being capable and good in a crisis, and the sharp rise in perceptions of Labour as divided should worry the party.”
Technical note:Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,255 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 19-23 September 2015. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. As an interim measure, and to preserve our long-term trends on voting intentions, our headline indicator is now changed to take into account past voting behaviour (do people always or usually vote in general elections, or say it depends) as well as stated likelihood to vote in an upcoming election (those who say they are at least 9 out of 10 certain to vote). As part of our post-election methodological review, we have introduced a new weighting by newspaper readership to improve the representativeness of our sample, using targets derived from the National Readership Survey. As our internal review continues, however, and as we look to learn from the British Polling Council’s own inquiry, we anticipate we will make further refinements to our methodology in the future.