The first poll on domestic political issues since the war started shows Tony Blair's satisfaction ratings rising to their highest level since June 2002. The latest MORI Political Monitor, with interviews carried out between 20-24 March, finds the proportion satisfied with his performance as Prime Minister rising from 31% to 43%, with those dissatisfied falling from 61% to 48%. That means his net score -- those satisfied minus dissatisfied -- has risen from minus 30 to minus 5. After a month in February when his rating among his own party supporters fell to its lowest ever, Labour voters are now three times more likely to be satisfied with his performance than dissatisfied.
Satisfaction with the way the Government is running the country has also risen, from a net score of minus 42 to minus 20, and people are even feeling slightly more confident about the economy than they were last month -- although half still think it will get worse over the next year. This month's MORI Economic Optimism Index (EOI), at minus 39 points, marks an increase on the minus 50 recorded in February.
Iain Duncan Smith is another beneficiary, with his satisfaction rating rising from minus 37 in February to minus 26 this month (though this still means that 47% are dissatisfied with his performance, against 21% satisfied). Charles Kennedy, on the other hand, may be suffering. His personal rating has fallen from plus 19 to plus 13 over the month.
Defence and foreign affairs is still seen as the most important issue facing the country, mentioned by 64%, while the NHS is the most important domestic issue at 42%. The war, though, has made little change to the state of the parties. Based on the half of the population who say they are absolutely certain to vote, Labour is up two points to 43%, the Tories are unchanged at 29%, and the Liberal Democrats are down one to 21%.
- MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 1,913 adults aged 18+ at 193 sampling points across Great Britain.
- Fieldwork was conducted face-to-face on 20-24 March 2003.
- 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
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 (970)
|Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem)||21|
|Lab lead (177%)||+14|
|Would not vote||1|
The headline figures are based on all those absolutely certain to vote.
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 respondents (1,913)
|Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem)||20|
|Lab lead (177%)||+19|
|Would not vote||15|
The headline figures are based on all respondents.
Q3-6 Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way the Government / Mr Blair / Mr Duncan Smith / Mr Kennedy are doing their job? Base: 983
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: 983
|Defence/foreign affairs/international terrorism||54||64|
|National Health Service/Hospitals||6||42|
|Crime/law & order/violence/vandalism||4||18|
|Nuclear weapons/nuclear war/disarmament||6||9|
|Unemployment/factory closure/lack of industry||1||8|
|Common Market/EU/Europe/Single European Currency||1||5|
|Low pay/minimum wage/fair wages||*||2|
|Local government/council tax||0||2|
|Foot and mouth outbreak/farming crisis||*||*|
|Pound/exchange rate/value of pound||*||*|
|Scottish/Welsh Assembly/Devolution Constitutional reform||*||*|
|Beef/BSE/Mad Cow Disease||0||*|
|GM/GM (Genetically Modified) foods||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: 983
|Stay the same||29|
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: 1,913
|10 -- absolutely certain to vote||50|
|1 -- absolutely certain not to vote||11|
Q11 Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way Gordon Brown is doing his job as Chancellor of the Exchequer?
Q12 On balance, do you agree or disagree that 'in the long term, this Government's policies will improve the state of Britain's economy'?