MORI Political Monitor, October 2002

For the first time, more Conservatives are dissatisfied than satisfied with the way Iain Duncan Smith is doing his job as party leader, according to MORI Political Monitor survey for October.

Political Attitudes in Great Britain for October 2002

For the first time, more Conservatives are dissatisfied than satisfied with the way Iain Duncan Smith is doing his job as party leader, according to MORI Political Monitor survey for October.

The survey, the first since the conference speech which was touted as the most important of Mr Duncan Smith's career and which was considered a success by many commentators, found that only 32% of those who say they would vote Conservative were satisfied with Mr Duncan Smith's performance, while 39% were dissatisfied, a net score of -7. Among the whole public just 18% are satisfied and 44% dissatisfied, also the worst figures of his year-long leadership; almost as striking is that 38% still have no opinion whether he is doing a good job or not, the highest figure MORI has ever measured for a Leader of the Opposition at this point in his career.

Tony Blair's net satisfaction rating is -8 (41% are satisfied with the way he is doing his job as Prime Minister, 49% dissatisfied), figures which have changed little in the last few months, but 70% of Labour supporters are satisfied with his performance. Satisfaction with the way the government is running the country is only 35% (63% among Labour supporters), but this is by no means an unusually low mid-term figure -- the Conservative governments of 1979-83, 1983-7 and 1987-92 all fell below 25% satisfaction yet secured re-election when the time came.

Charles Kennedy remains the only one of the three major party leaders with a positive net rating, 45% of the public being satisfied with his leadership and only 19% dissatisfied.

The National Health Service is the issue of most concern to the public, as it has been in every month since the turn of the year: 45% of the public named it as one of the most important issues facing the country. Other widely mentioned issues are defence/foreign affairs (35%), education (32%) and crime/law & order (28%). Despite the controversy over the suspension of Stormont and accusations of spying against Sinn Fein, prominent in the news at the time the survey was being conducted, only three per cent of the public mentioned Northern Ireland as being an important issue.

Technical details

  • MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 1,012 adults aged 18+ at 183 sampling points across Great Britain.
  • Fieldwork was conducted face-to-face on 17-21 October 2002.
  • 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

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

Base: 1,012

  Satisfied Dissatisfied Don't know Index
  % % % 177%
Government 35 55 10 -20
Blair 41 49 9 -8
Duncan Smith 18 44 38 -26
Kennedy 45 19 36 +26

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: 1,012

  Q7 Q7/8
  % %
National Health Service/Hospitals 17 45
Defence/foreign affairs/international terrorism 23 35
Education/schools 6 32
Crime/law & order/violence/vandalism 10 28
Race relations/immigration/immigrants 6 18
Transport/public transport 2 11
Unemployment/factory closure/lack of industry 3 10
Pensions/social security 2 9
Nuclear weapons/nuclear war/disarmament 6 8
Common Market/EU/Europe/Single European Currency 2 8
Economy/economic situation 3 7
Drug abuse 2 7
Housing 1 6
Poverty/inequality 1 6
Inflation/prices 1 4
Low pay/minimum wage/fair wages 1 4
Taxation 1 4
Northern Ireland 1 3
Morality/individual behaviour * 3
Trade unions/strikes 1 2
Local government/council tax * 2
Pollution/environment * 2
AIDS 1 1
Countryside/rural life * 1
Foot and mouth outbreak/farming crisis * 1
Pound/exchange rate/value of pound * 1
Petrol prices/fuel 0 1
Privatisation 0 1
GM/GM (Genetically Modified) foods * *
Animal welfare 0 *
Beef/BSE/Mad Cow Disease 0 *
Scottish/Welsh Assembly/Devolution Constitutional reform 0 *
Other 6 15
Don't know 4 4

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: 1,012

Improve 15
Stay the same 40
Get worse 39
Don't know 5

Q10 Some people did not get along to vote at the General Election on the 7th June 2001. Did you vote at the General Election on the 7th June 2001?

Base: 1,012

Yes 70
No 29
Don't know *
Cant remember 1

Q11 What Party did you vote for at the General Election on 7th June 2001. If you are not sure or did not vote, please say so.

Base: 710

Conservative 25
Labour 51
Liberal Democrats 15
Scottish/Welsh Nationalist 2
Green Party *
UK Independence Party *
Other 1
Undecided 1
Refused 4

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