Crisis Of Confidence For Leaders

Tony Blair and Iain Duncan Smith are facing a crisis of confidence with the British public, with both recording further falls in their satisfaction ratings.

Tony Blair and Iain Duncan Smith are facing a crisis of confidence with the British public, with both recording further falls in their satisfaction ratings.

In the MORI Political Monitor results for February, the balance of opinion on Blair is -30 points -- that is the proportion satisfied less proportion dissatisfied (in Blair's case, 31% satisfaction less 61% dissatisfaction). This is a further decline from the -25 rating in the last Monitor in January.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Conservatives now has a satisfaction rating of -37 points -- his rating was -31 points in January. Both these are the result of a steady decline in public satisfaction with the party leaders rather than sudden 'blips', reflecting Blair's stance on Iraq and Duncan Smith's handling of the Conservatives.

Blair's ratings have been on the decline since the heady days of September 2001 -- after 9/11 -- when he recorded a +41 points rating. His current rating is his lowest ever, apart from a rating of -31 points in September 2000 which was during the petrol crisis. However, that rating can be seen in context, as an isolated 'peak', where as now he is facing sustained unpopularity. The Government itself is also facing growing public dissatisfaction, with a -42 points rating and Duncan Smith's rating has now seen steady decline since June 2002.

As well as the general public, Party supporters are also losing faith. Among Labour voters, Blair's rating is only +7 points. Among Conservative voters, Duncan Smith now has a -23 points rating making him look even more vulnerable. Labour supporters are also now more dissatisfied with the Government, the first negative rating among its own supporter since 1997.

Labour has strengthened its lead of the Tories slightly since the January monitor -- from nine points to 12.

Topline Results

  • MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 1,925 adults aged 18+ at 201 sampling points across Great Britain.
  • Fieldwork was conducted face-to-face on 20-25 February 2003.
  • Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.
  • Results are based on all respondents unless otherwise stated
  • An '*' indicates a finding of less than 0.5%, but greater than zero

Q1 How would you vote if there were a General Election tomorrow? IF UNDECIDED OR REFUSED AT Q1 Q2 Which party are you most inclined to support? Base: All absolutely certain to vote (982)

 %
Conservative29
Labour41
Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem)22
Scottish/Welsh Nationalist3
Green Party2
Democratic/UKIP Party1
Other2
 
Lab lead (177%)+12
 
Would not vote1
Undecided4
Refused1

The headline figures are based on all those absolutely certain to vote.

Q1 How would you vote if there were a General Election tomorrow? IF UNDECIDED OR REFUSED AT Q1 Q2 Which party are you most inclined to support? Base: All respondents (1,925)

 %
Conservative25
Labour44
Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem)22
Scottish/Welsh Nationalist3
Green Party2
Democratic/UKIP Party1
Other2
 
Lab lead (177%)+19
 
Would not vote15
Undecided8
Refused1

The headline figures are based on all respondents.

Q3-6 Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way the Government / Mr Blair / Mr Duncan Smith / Mr Kennedy are doing their job? Base: 1,009

 SatisfiedDissatisfiedDon't knowIndex
 %%%177%
Government25678-42
Blair31618-30
Duncan Smith165331-37
Kennedy422335+19

Q7 What would you say is the most important issue facing Britain today? Q8 What do you see as other important issues facing Britain today? Base: 1,009

 Q7Q7/8
 %%
Defence/foreign affairs/international terrorism5569
National Health Service/Hospitals644
Race relations/immigration/immigrants1027
Education/schools227
Crime/law & order/violence/vandalism420
Nuclear weapons/nuclear war/disarmament711
Pensions/social security111
Transport/public transport*11
Economy/economic situation210
Unemployment/factory closure/lack of industry29
Housing16
Drug abuse15
Poverty/inequality*5
Taxation*5
Morality/individual behaviour14
Common Market/EU/Europe/Single European Currency*4
Low pay/minimum wage/fair wages*4
Inflation/prices*2
Pollution/environment*2
Petrol prices/fuel02
Local government/council tax*1
Privatisation*1
Countryside/rural life01
Pound/exchange rate/value of pound01
Trade unions/strikes01
AIDS**
Animal welfare**
Beef/BSE/Mad Cow Disease**
Foot and mouth outbreak/farming crisis**
Northern Ireland**
GM/GM (Genetically Modified) foods0*
Scottish/Welsh Assembly/Devolution Constitutional reform0*
 
Other311
Don't know22

Q9 Do you think that the general economic condition of the country will improve, stay the same, or get worse over the next 12 months? Base: 1,009

 %
Improve8
Stay the same28
Get worse58
Don't know6
 
MORI EOI-50

Q10 And how likely would you be to vote in an immediate General Election, on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 means you would be absolutely certain to vote, and 1 means that you would be absolutely certain not to vote? Base: 1,925

 %
10 -- absolutely certain to vote51
95
88
74
62
58
42
33
22
1 -- absolutely certain not to vote11

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