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.
- 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)
|Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem)||22|
|Lab lead (177%)||+12|
|Would not vote||1|
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)
|Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem)||22|
|Lab lead (177%)||+19|
|Would not vote||15|
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
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
|Defence/foreign affairs/international terrorism||55||69|
|National Health Service/Hospitals||6||44|
|Crime/law & order/violence/vandalism||4||20|
|Nuclear weapons/nuclear war/disarmament||7||11|
|Unemployment/factory closure/lack of industry||2||9|
|Common Market/EU/Europe/Single European Currency||*||4|
|Low pay/minimum wage/fair wages||*||4|
|Local government/council tax||*||1|
|Pound/exchange rate/value of pound||0||1|
|Beef/BSE/Mad Cow Disease||*||*|
|Foot and mouth outbreak/farming crisis||*||*|
|GM/GM (Genetically Modified) foods||0||*|
|Scottish/Welsh Assembly/Devolution Constitutional reform||0||*|
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
|Stay the same||28|
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 vote||51|
|1 -- absolutely certain not to vote||11|