MORI Political Monitor - Political Attitudes in Great Britain

Labour has stretched its lead over the Conservatives despite Tony Blair's difficulties on Iraq, MORI's latest survey for the Financial Times shows. Asked how they would vote in a general election held tomorrow, of those who said they were certain to vote, 40% replied Labour, 31% Conservative and 21% Liberal Democrats.

Labour Lead Increases

Labour has stretched its lead over the Conservatives despite Tony Blair's difficulties on Iraq, MORI's latest survey for the Financial Times shows. Asked how they would vote in a general election held tomorrow, of those who said they were certain to vote, 40% replied Labour, 31% Conservative and 21% Liberal Democrats.

However, the public continue to be dissatisfied about the way Tony Blair is doing his job (-35% net satisfied), and how well the Government is running the country (-39% net satisfied).

Iain Duncan Smith's approvals ratings are also deep in negative territory (-30% net satisfied), and only 15% of the public think he would make the most capable Prime Minister.

Should Tony Blair Resign?

1 October 2003

While Labour may still retain a lead over the Conservatives in the polls, the latest MORI survey results for the Financial Times show that the public are far from happy with the Prime Minister's performance. Two in five (43%) say the Prime Minister is out of touch with ordinary people and half the public say it is now time for him to resign and hand over to someone else (39% disagree).

If Gordon Brown was leader of the Labour Party, more of the electorate say they would vote Labour in a General Election (the party's share of the vote rising from 40% to 45% among those who say they are certain to vote).

MORI's poll also reveals the issues the public feel are most important when deciding who to vote for, which party is seen as best placed to deal with the public's priorities, attitudes towards the Labour party and trade unions, and expectations on public services and the economy.

Public Do Not Think Iain Duncan Smith Is Ready To Be Prime Minister

6 October 2003

Two-thirds of the British public (67%) do not think that the Conservative Party leader, Iain Duncan Smith is ready to be Prime Minister. Only 16% agree that Duncan Smith is ready to move into Downing Street, and 17% say they do not know. The MORI survey for the Financial Times also shows that three times as many people disagree that "the Conservatives are ready to form the next Government" (64%) than agree (21%).

MORI's survey also shows that opposition to British participation in the Euro is hardening, with 38% saying they are "strongly opposed", and a further 22% "generally opposed". In contrast, just 14% say they are "strongly in favour" and 20% "generally in favour".

Topline Results

MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 1,976 adults aged 18+ at 187 sampling points across Great Britain. Fieldwork was conducted face-to-face in respondents homes on 11-16 September 2003. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.

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: 1,976 British adults 18+

  %
Conservative 29
Labour 43
Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem) 21
Scottish/Welsh Nationalist 3
Green Party 2
UK Independence Party 1
Other 2
 
Lab lead (177%) +14
 
Would not vote 14
Undecided 9
Refused 1

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 (1,049)

  %
Conservative 31
Labour 40
Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem) 21
Scottish/Welsh Nationalist 3
Green Party 2
UK Independence Party *
Other 3
 
Lab lead (177%) +9
 
Would not vote 1
Undecided 6
Refused 1

Q3-6 Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way the Government / Mr Blair / Mr Duncan Smith / Mr Kennedy are doing their job? Base: 952 British adults 18+

  Satisfied Dissatisfied Don't know Index
  % % % 177%
Government 27 66 7 -39
Blair 29 64 7 -35
Duncan Smith 19 49 32 -30
Kennedy 35 29 37 +6

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: 952 British adults 18+

  Q7 Q7/8
  % %
National Health Service/Hospitals 12 40
Defence/foreign affairs/international terrorism 22 37
Race relations/immigration/immigrants 18 29
Education/schools 4 28
Crime/law & order/violence/vandalism 9 24
Economy/economic situation 4 14
Common Market/EU/Europe/Single European Currency 5 13
Pensions/social security 4 12
Unemployment/factory closure/lack of industry 2 9
Housing 1 7
Transport/public transport 1 7
Drug abuse 2 6
Taxation * 6
Poverty/inequality 2 5
Morality/individual behaviour 1 5
Nuclear weapons/nuclear war/disarmament 1 4
Low pay/minimum wage/fair wages * 3
Inflation/prices * 2
Local government/council tax * 2
Pollution/environment * 2
AIDS * 1
Countryside/rural life 0 1
GM/GM (Genetically Modified) foods 0 1
Petrol prices/fuel 0 1
Trade unions/strikes 0 1
Northern Ireland * *
Scottish/Welsh Assembly/Devolution Constitutional reform * *
Animal welfare 0 *
Beef/BSE/Mad Cow Disease 0 *
Foot and mouth outbreak/farming crisis 0 *
Pound/exchange rate/value of pound 0 *
Privatisation 0 *
 
Other 6 20
Don't know 6 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: 952 British adults 18+

  %
Improve 14
Stay the same 43
Get worse 37
Don't know 7
 
MORI Economic Optimism Index [EOI] -23

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: 1,976 British adults 18+

  %
10 -- absolutely certain to vote 53
9 6
8 7
7 3
6 3
5 8
4 3
3 3
2 2
1 -- absolutely certain not to vote 11
Don't know 1

Q11 Looking ahead to the next General Election, which, if any, of these issues do you think will be very important to you in helping you decide which party to vote for? Base: 1,976 British adults 18+

  %
Asylum 39
Animal welfare 9
Constitution/devolution 10
Defence 20
Education 53
Europe 22
Health care 62
Housing 20
Law and order 49
Managing the economy 27
Pensions 42
Protecting the natural environment 19
Public transport 25
Taxation 32
Trade Unions 7
Unemployment 24
Other 2
Don't know 5

Q12 I am going to read out a list of problems facing Britain today and for each one, I would like you to tell me whether you think that the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats or some other party has the best policy on each? Base: 1,976 British adults 18+

  Conservative Labour Liberal Democrats Other None of these Don't know
  % % % % % %
Asylum 26 14 8 3 16 33
Animal welfare 8 15 10 8 12 47
Constitution/devolution 17 20 9 3 10 41
Defence 23 23 7 2 11 34
Education 20 27 14 1 10 28
Europe 24 21 11 2 11 31
Health care 16 30 11 2 13 29
Housing 13 27 7 2 13 39
Law and order 25 23 7 1 13 31
Managing the economy 20 31 6 1 11 31
Pensions 17 21 9 2 16 36
Protecting the natural environment 9 14 18 15 11 34
Public transport 11 26 10 3 16 33
Taxation 23 23 10 1 11 31
Trade Unions 15 34 5 1 10 35
Unemployment 13 36 6 1 11 33

Q13-14 Please tell me whether you think that the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats or some other party has the best policy on the following? Base: 1,976 British adults 18+

  Conservative Labour Liberal Democrats Other None of these Don't know
  % % % % % %
Business 34 19 5 1 7 33
Workers 11 38 9 1 9 31

Q15-17 Here is a list of things both favourable and unfavourable that have been said about various politicians. I would like you to pick out all those statements that you feel fit 0? Base: 952 British adults 18+

  Mr Blair Mr Duncan Smith Mr Kennedy
  % % %
A capable leader 30 9 19
Good in a crisis 23 3 3
Understands world problems 23 9 11
Tends to talk down to people 24 12 2
Rather narrow minded 17 14 4
Too inflexible 19 8 3
Has sound judgement 10 7 11
More honest than most politicians 8 11 25
Down-to-earth 11 8 25
Understands the problems facing Britain 20 13 15
Patriotic 17 22 11
Has got a lot of personality 23 3 16
Rather inexperienced 4 34 24
Out of touch with ordinary people 43 24 6
No opinion 10 29 38

Q18 Who do you think would make the most capable Prime Minister: Mr Blair, Mr Duncan Smith or Mr Kennedy? Base: 952 British adults 18+

  %
Blair 42
Duncan Smith 15
Kennedy 18
Don't know 25

Q19-21 Here is a list of things both favourable and unfavourable that have been said about various political parties. Read through the list slowly keeping the [... Party] in mind. Every time you come to a statement that fits your ideas or impressions of the [... Party], just tell the letter next to it. You may pick as many or as few as you like. You don't have to be certain, just pick the letters next to the statements you feel fit the [... Party]. Base: 952 British adults 18+

  Labour Conservative Liberal Democrats
  % % %
Keeps its promises 4 4 7
Understands the problems facing Britain 23 20 19
Represents all classes 19 8 29
Looks after the interests of people like us 12 9 12
Moderate 14 14 30
Extreme 9 12 1
Concerned about the people in real need in Britain 16 11 22
Has a good team of leaders 14 8 7
Will promise anything to win votes 43 35 16
Out of touch with ordinary people 32 32 5
Has sensible policies 14 16 29
Too dominated by its leader 40 5 4
Professional in its approach 13 14 14
Divided 31 34 4
No opinion 12 19 35

Q22a How would you vote if there were a General Election tomorrow and Gordon Brown was leader of the Labour Party? (IF AGED 15-17 ADD: If you were old enough to vote?) IF UNDECIDED OR REFUSED AT Q9 Q22b Which party are you most inclined to support? Base: 1,976 British adults 18+

  %
Conservative 27
Labour 45
Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem) 20
Scottish/Welsh Nationalist 3
Green Party 2
UK Independence Party 1
Other 3
 
Lab lead (177%) +18
Would not vote 12
Undecided 7
Refused 1

Q22a How would you vote if there were a General Election tomorrow and Gordon Brown was leader of the Labour Party? (IF AGED 15-17 ADD: If you were old enough to vote?) IF UNDECIDED OR REFUSED AT Q9 Q22b Which party are you most inclined to support? Base: All absolutely certain to vote (1,049)

  %
Conservative 30
Labour 45
Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem) 19
Scottish/Welsh Nationalist 3
Green Party 1
UK Independence Party *
Other 2
 
Lab lead (177%) +15
 
Would not vote 1
Undecided 4
Refused 1

Q23 Which two or three of the following, do you think have the most influence on Tony Blair? Base: 952 British adults 18+

  %
Cherie Blair 41
Gordon Brown 20
George Bush 57
Alastair Campbell 25
Peter Mandelson 11
Jack Straw 8
Ian McCartney -- Chairman of the Labour Party 3
The Cabinet Secretary 2
The Media 30
The Public 8
 
Other 1
None 1
Don't know 8

Q24 Who, if any, of the following do you think are members of the Shadow Cabinet? Base: 952 British adults 18+

  %
Michael Ancram 26
Charles Clarke 10
Kenneth Clarke 21
Michael Heseltine 11
Michael Howard 26
Oliver Letwin 19
Theresa May 24
John Redwood 15
Ann Widdecombe 24
 
None 2
Don't know 38

Q25 Which of the following best describes your own view of British participation in the single currency? Base: 1,976 British adults 18+

  %
I strongly support British participation 14
I am generally in favour of British participation, but could be persuaded against it if I though it would be bad for the British economy 20
I am generally opposed to British participation, but could be persuaded in favour of it if I though it would be good for the British economy 22
I strongly oppose British participation 38
Don't know 6

Q26-28 On balance, do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Base: 1,976 British adults

  Agree Disagree Don't know Net agree
  % % % %
The Conservatives are ready to form the next Government 21 64 15 -43
Ian Duncan Smith is ready to be Prime Minister 16 67 17 -51
It's now time for Tony Blair to resign and hand over to someone else 50 39 11 +11

Q29-30 On balance, do you agree or disagree that "in the long term, this government's policies will improve the state of 0"? Base: 952 British adults 18+

  Britain's Economy Britain's Public Services
  % %
Agree 39 33
Disagree 45 52
Don't know 17 15
 
Net agree (+) -6 -19

Q31-32 On balance, do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Base: 952 British adults 18+

  Agree Disagree Don't know Net agree
  % % % %
Trade unions have too much power in Britain today 29 57 15 -28
The Labour Party should not be so closely linked to the trade unions 41 38 21 +3

Q33 From what you know or have heard, who do you think bears a major responsibility for the death of the Government scientist, Dr Kelly, in July 2003? Base: 952 British adults 18+

  %
Alastair Campbell 13
Andrew Gilligan (the reporter on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme) 14
BBC 9
Dr Kelly himself 26
Geoff Hoon (the Defence Secretary) 22
Ministry of Defence/Civil Servants 21
Parliament 8
The media generally 24
Tony Blair 22
 
Other 2
None 1
Don't know 18

Q34 Which, if any of the following do you think should resign as a result of the death of Dr Kelly? Base: 952 British adults 18+

  %
Alastair Campbell 17
Andrew Gilligan (the reporter on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme) 15
Geoff Hoon (the Defence Secretary) 33
Greg Dyke (Director General of the BBC) 7
Kevin Marsh (the Editor of the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4) 3
Richard Sambrook (Head of News and Current Affairs at the BBC) 4
Tony Blair 21
 
Other 1
None 19
Don't know 24

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