Jo Swinson's favourability ratings fall, proportion thinking Labour having 'good campaign' increasing

Ipsos MORI's latest campaign tracker shows Jo Swinson's favourability ratings have fallen sharply in the past week,

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Public Affairs
  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs
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  • 50% of GB adults now unfavourable towards Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson – up from 41% a week ago. 49% now unfavourable towards the Lib Dems – up from 42%.
  • Proportion of GB adults that say Labour having a ‘good campaign’ at 28% - up from 21% two weeks ago. Proportion saying bad campaign down from 44% to 39%.
  • Majority still expect either a Conservative majority or Conservatives to be largest party in a hung parliament. NHS and Brexit still key issues on voters’ minds. 

Favourability towards party leaders and parties

  • In a poll conducted over the past weekend (22nd to 25th November), Jo Swinson’s favourability ratings have fallen sharply.
  • 19% of GB adults are favourable towards the Lib Dem leader compared to 50% that are unfavourable. This compares to 22% favourable and 41% unfavourable the previous weekend, meaning that in one week the Lib Dem leader’s net favourability rating has fallen from -19 to -31.
  • Swinson’s fall in favourability scores appears to be driven by Remain voters rather than Leave voters. Her net favourable rating has fallen from +10 in week two to -8 in week three among Remain voters and from -54 to -57 among Leave voters.
  • GB adults continue to be most favourable towards Boris Johnson of the four party leaders included in the survey but there are signs of his numbers softening. 33% are currently favourable towards Johnson and 47% unfavourable. This compares to 36% favourable and 44% unfavourable two weeks ago. His net rating therefore falling from -8 to -14 in that time (last week it was -9).
  • Jeremy Corbyn continues to command the worst satisfaction scores of the party leaders included in the survey. 59% are unfavourable towards the Labour leader and 24% favourable. Although his net favourability rating has improved from -39 to -35 during the three surveys conducted, he still significantly trails Boris Johnson on this measure (-14).
  • 24% are favourable towards Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, 54% unfavourable, net -30.

Favourability

  • Turning to the parties, 34% of GB adults are favourable towards the Conservative Party, 43% unfavourable. Net -9. The party’s net score was -8 last week and -3 in week one.
  • 30% are favourable towards the Labour Party, 51% unfavourable. Net -21. This net score is similar to that achieved in week two (-23) but an improvement on the -29 achieved in week one.
  • In keeping with their leader’s numbers, the Lib Dems have seen a fall in favourability this week. 23% are favourable towards the party (down 2 points on last week) and 49% are unfavourable (up 7 points). The party’s net rating of -26 compares to -19 in week one and -17 in week two.
  • Leave voters are most favourable towards the Conservatives (54% favourable), compared to 45% for the Brexit Party, 16% for Labour and 11% for the Liberal Democrats.
  • Remain voters are most favourable towards the Labour party (45%) then the Liberal Democrats (39%). Remainers were more favourable towards the Lib Dems in week one but Labour moved into first place in week two and have stayed there in week three. Both have a significant lead over the Conservatives (20%) and Brexit Party (6%) among this group.

Who is having a good campaign?

  • GB adults continue to be more likely to think that each of the parties included in the survey are having a bad campaign than having a good campaign.
  • The Conservatives have seen no real movement over the past week, with 27% still saying they think they are having a good campaign, 34% saying a bad campaign. Net -7.
  • Perceptions of the Labour party campaign continue to steadily improve. 28% think the party is having a good campaign compared with 39% that think the party is having a bad campaign. However, the party’s net score has improved over time, now standing at -11 compared to -17 last week and -23 in week one. In week one, 21% said the party was having a good campaign and 44% a bad one. 
  • In contrast, the Lib Dems have seen a sharp increase in the proportion thinking the party is having a bad campaign this week – up from 33% to 39%. 19% think the party is having a good campaign, down a point from last week.
  • 19% think the Brexit Party are having a good campaign, 40% a bad campaign. Net -21 (down one point from last week).

Good/bad campaign

Issues deciding your vote

  • When prompted with a list of issues that might be important to them in deciding how to vote in the upcoming election, the top two issues for GB adults are the NHS (62%) and Brexit (57%). These figures are closely aligned with those seen in week two, where the NHS replaced Brexit as the number one issue in our online campaign tracker.

Issues deciding your vote

  • Crime (31%) and caring for older and disabled people (31%) are vying for third place.
  • For 2017 Conservative voters, the top four issues are Brexit (70%), the NHS (65%), immigration (41%) and crime (40%).
  • For 2017 Labour voters, the NHS is still the number one issue (72%), followed by Brexit (51%) followed by several other issues seen as important by two in five respondents.
  • For leave voters, the top three issues impacting their vote are Brexit (65%), the NHS (64%) and immigration (49%). For Remain voters the key issues are the NHS (66%), Brexit (57%) and climate change (40%).
  • When asked which party has the best policies on the issues that matter most to them, 25% of GB adults overall said the Conservatives (down one since last week), while 23% said Labour (up 1%). One in ten (9%) said the Liberal Democrats, 7% said the Brexit Party, 3% said the Greens and 3% said the SNP. Meanwhile, 12% said different parties were better on different policies, 9% said ‘none of these’ and 9% said that they didn’t know.
  • Remain voters were most likely to say the Labour Party (36%) had the best policies on the issues they cared about, with fewer than one in five (18%) saying the Liberal Democrats. Leave voters were most likely to say the Conservatives (39%) had the best policies on the issues that mattered to them.

Issues by party

What will the election outcome be?

  • Despite changes in favourability scores outlined above, there is little change amongst GB adults in terms of their expected election result. 59% expect the Conservatives to be the largest party (up two points from last week and the same proportion as week one), with 32% expecting the Conservatives to be the largest party in a hung parliament and 27% expecting the Conservatives to form a majority government.
  • Two in five (42%) 2017 Labour voters expect the Conservatives to be the largest party and more than four in five (83%) 2017 Conservative voters think the same.
  • In contrast, one in five British adults (19%) expect Labour to be the largest party with 9% predicting a majority Labour government and 10% a hung parliament with Labour as the largest party. Around two in five (43%) 2017 Labour voters expect them to be the largest party after the election.

Election outcome

Commenting on the findings, Ipsos MORI Research Director Keiran Pedley said:

It’s been a tough week for the Lib Dems, with Jo Swinson seeing her personal favourability ratings fall significantly, driven by falling favourability among Remain rather than Leave voters. Meanwhile, Labour sees the proportion of GB adults saying that the party is having a good campaign steadily improve over time. In this context, Labour will be optimistic that they can continue to squeeze the Lib Dem vote share in voting intention polls and close the gap with the Conservatives somewhat. However, whether they can do so enough to prevent a Conservative majority at this election remains to be seen.

Technical note

Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,134 British adults. Interviews were conducted online: 22nd – 25th November 2019.  Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error.


 

 

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Public Affairs
  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs

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