Cameron remains more popular than his party, while Labour is still more popular than Ed Miliband
Mr Cameron is the most popular leader, though the Conservative party is still the least popular party, according to the latest Ipsos MORI poll. Forty-one per cent of the public like Mr Cameron compared with 37% who like Mr Miliband, and 29% who like Mr Clegg.
For Mr Clegg, this represents a decline in popularity of 11 points since January 2011 when 40% of people liked him. More people now say that they like the Liberal Democrats but do not like Nick Clegg (24% up from 16% in January 2011). Mr Cameron has also seen a decline in the number of people who like him (down from 47% in the same period), while the number of people who like Mr Miliband has remained stable (36% in January 2011).
Mr Miliband is still less popular than the Labour Party, however, which is liked by 51% of people (up from 45% in January 2011). He is also the least popular of the leaders among party supporters, liked by 60% of Labour supporters, compared with the 62% of Liberal Democrat supporters who like Mr Clegg and 79% of Conservative supporters who like Mr Cameron.
In terms of parties, the story is reversed. Among the general public, Labour is the most liked, at 51%, with 40% liking the Liberal Democrats, and 35% liking the Conservative party.
The Liberal Democrats are still struggling to convince the public they have a clear identity. Two-thirds (65%) agree that they “Don’t know what the Liberal Democrats stand for these days”, compared to 22% who disagree.
The Labour Party, however, has seen some improvement since April with only half (51%) saying that they “don’t know what the Labour Party stands for these days” (compared to 57% previously). The Conservative Party have remained relatively stable at 45% compared to 44% earlier this year.
This lack of clarity extends to the parties’ own supporters, with at least a third of each party’s own supporters saying that they do not know what the party stands for:
- 48% of Liberal Democrat voters say they do not know what the Liberal Democrats stand for;
- 36% of Conservative voters say they do not know what the Conservatives stands for; and
- 34% of Labour voters say they do not know what Labour stands for.
This represents an increase since April 2012 in the proportion of Liberal Democrat voters who do not know what their party stands for (from 41%), whereas Labour have clarified their position among supporters (in April 42% of Labour supporters did not know what the party stood for).
Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos MORI, said
“All three parties were looking to their party conferences to help them set out their stalls and differentiate themselves. While the shine has definitely come off the Prime Minister, he is still more liked than the Labour Party (and Ed Miliband), although Labour is widening the gap as the most liked party. The Liberal Democrats still have the toughest task telling voters what they stand for where the Labour Party appears to be making some headway.”
Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,005 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 20-24 October 2012. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.