Most believe that British society is ‘broken’ – but despite the riots this has fallen slightly since 2008. Even more people agree with David Cameron’s assertion that “pockets of Britain are not only broken, but frankly sick”.
Economic optimism continues to fall amid debt crisis in America and the Eurozone.
CON 34 (+2); LAB 40 (+1); LIB DEM 15 (+4)
The August Reuters/Ipsos MORI Political Monitor, our first poll conducted since the riots in England, shows that three in five people (58%) agree that "British society is broken".
Our recent Issues Index, conducted during the riots and their immediate aftermath, showed a marked increase in concern about crime and anti-social behaviour following the riots. However, agreement that British society is broken has fallen slightly since September 2008 (63%), the last time Ipsos MORI asked the question.
Even more people agree with the statement made by the Prime Minister in the aftermath of the riots that “pockets of Britain are not only broken, but frankly sick” (69%). Agreement is higher among Conservative supporters than Labour supporters (76% compared to 67%).
There is little to suggest that the riots have had an effect on public satisfaction with the government and its leaders. Satisfaction with the government remains unchanged since last month, with twice as many people dissatisfied as satisfied (59% compared to 30%). Two in five are satisfied with David Cameron (39%) while three in ten (31%) are satisfied with Nick Clegg, both also unchanged from July.
Nick Clegg’s personal ratings among Liberal Democrat voters have increased this month. Over half of his own party's supporters are now satisfied with his performance (55% compared to 47% in July, while dissatisfaction has fallen from 41% to 29%).
Ed Miliband’s ratings are also unchanged this month, with just over a third (36%) satisfied with the way he is doing his job as leader of the Labour party and two in five (43%) dissatisfied, his net score of minus 7 being better than Cameron's or Clegg's.
Voting intentions this month are Conservatives 34%, Labour 40% and Liberal Democrats 15%, among those who are certain to vote. While the Conservative and Labour shares remain broadly unchanged since July, this is an increase in the Lib Dem share of four points from July, and their highest share since last September. There has been a fall in support for minor parties, which was at an unusually high level in July following the hacking scandal.
Economic optimism continues to fall in the wake of the continued debt crisis in America and the Eurozone; a fifth (19%) believe the economic condition of the country will improve in the next twelve months, and half (52%) think that it will get worse. Pessimism about the short-term future of the economy has been increasing month-on-month since May.
Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,002 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 20-22 August 2011. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.
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