MORI Political Monitor August

MORI's latest Political Monitor, published in the Financial Times this week, underlines how the public's perception of the issues facing Britain has changed in recent years. Defence and foreign affairs are singled out as a priority by 38% — ahead of all the other issues — and contrasting starkly with the position three years ago. During the first eight months of 2001, we found an average of just 2-3% mentioning defence and foreign affairs as one of the big themes facing the country. (For analysis of the American's public's view of issues facing the US, visit Gallup).

MORI's latest Political Monitor, published in the Financial Times this week, underlines how the public's perception of the issues facing Britain has changed in recent years. Defence and foreign affairs are singled out as a priority by 38% -- ahead of all the other issues -- and contrasting starkly with the position three years ago. During the first eight months of 2001, we found an average of just 2-3% mentioning defence and foreign affairs as one of the big themes facing the country. (For analysis of the American's public's view of issues facing the US, visit Gallup).

Gallup's figures show the importance of the economy in the minds of the US public. Here, MORI's Economic Optimism index finds the proportion expecting economy to "get worse" standing at 40%, which is the highest figure since March 2003. But, for the moment at least, this is not a key priority for the British -- with the economy generally mentioned by 10% and the specific issue of unemployment singled out by 7%. By way of a contrast, in June 1997, just after Labour's first landslide, the proportion mentioning unemployment was as high as 39%.

Our July poll highlighted the difficulties facing Michael Howard, with low levels of satisfaction and increasing dissatisfaction. These numbers have stabilised this month, with 26% of the public positive and 41% critical. The voting intention figures show the Conservatives static on 32% (+1 on July), with a slight increase for Labour (36%, +4) apparently at the expense of the Liberal Democrats (21%, -3%). MORI's Autumn political monitors will include some detailed questions on leader and party image, placing them in historical perspective, as we look ahead to the expected general election next May.

Topline Results

  • MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 1,923 adults aged 18+ at 200 sampling points across Great Britain.
  • Fieldwork was conducted face-to-face on 12 - 16 August 2004.
  • Data weighted to the national population profile
  • An '*' indicates a finding of less than 0.5%, but greater than zero
  • Where percentages do not add up to exactly 100% this may be due to computer rounding, the exclusion of "don't knows" or to multiple answers

Q1 How would you vote if there were a General Election tomorrow?IF UNDECIDED OR REFUSED AT Q1Q2 Which party are you most inclined to support?

Base: All absolutely certain to vote (1,024)

  %
Conservative 32
Labour 36
Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem) 21
Scottish/Welsh Nationalist 2
Green Party 2
UK Independence Party 4
Other 3
 
Lab lead (+%) +4
 
Would not vote 1
Undecided 5
Refused 3

Q3-6 Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way the Government / Mr Blair / Mr Howard / Mr Kennedy are doing their job?

Base: 1,008 British adults 18+

  Satisfied Dissatisfied Don't know Index
  % % % 177%
Government 28 61 10 -33
Blair 29 61 9 -32
Howard 26 41 34 -15
Kennedy 39 30 31 +9

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: 1,008 British adults 18+

  Q7 Q7/8
  % %
Defence/foreign affairs/international terrorism 24 38
National Health Service/Hospitals 9 34
Race relations/immigration/immigrants 17 30
Crime/law & order/violence/vandalism 12 28
Education/schools 4 23
Economy/economic situation 3 10
Common Market/EU/Europe/Single European Currency 4 9
Taxation 2 8
Pensions/social security 1 8
Unemployment/factory closure/lack of industry 2 7
Drug abuse 2 6
Housing 1 6
Transport/public transport 1 6
Morality/individual behaviour 2 4
Inflation/prices 1 4
Local government/council tax 1 4
Pollution/environment 1 4
Poverty/inequality 1 3
Petrol prices/fuel * 3
Nuclear weapons/nuclear war/disarmament 1 2
Public services in general * 2
Privatisation * 1
GM/GM (Genetically Modified) foods 0 1
Low pay/minimum wage/fair wages 0 1
Countryside/rural life * *
Northern Ireland * *
Pound/exchange rate/value of pound * *
Scottish/Welsh Assembly/Devolution Constitutional reform * *
Trade unions/strikes * *
AIDS 0 *
Animal welfare 0 *
Beef/BSE/Mad Cow Disease 0 *
Foot and mouth outbreak/farming crisis 0 0
 
Other 4 14
Don't know 6 5

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: 1,008 British adults 18+

  %
Improve 13
Stay the same 43
Get worse 40
Don't know 5
MORI Economic Optimism Index [EOI] -27

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: 1,923 British adults 18+

  %
10 -- absolutely certain to vote 51
9 6
8 7
7 5
6 2
5 8
4 2
3 2
2 2
1 -- absolutely certain not to vote 11
Don't know 2
Refused *

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