Reuters/Ipsos MORI September 2011 Political Monitor

Conservatives regain lead over Labour as having the best policies on managing the economy, but half of the public are still pessimistic about the economy

Reuters/Ipsos MORI September 2011 Political Monitor

Conservatives regain lead over Labour as having the best policies on managing the economy, but half of the public are still pessimistic about the economy

After a boost following the phone hacking scandal, satisfaction with Miliband falls to his lowest ratings since he became leader of the Labour party; Labour vote share also falls slightly

CON 35(+1); LAB 37 (-3); LIB DEM 13 (-2)

The September Reuters/Ipsos MORI Political Monitor shows that the Conservatives have regained a clear lead over Labour and the Liberal Democrats as having the best policies for managing the economy. Just over three in ten (33%) think the Conservatives have the best economic policies, compared to 23% who say Labour and 8% who say the Liberal Democrats.

In March, the Conservatives’ lead had fallen to just three points; 31% believed they had the best policies on managing the economy, compared with 28% who felt this was true of Labour. It is not though as large as the 13 point lead they had in October 2010.

However, economic optimism remains low; in line with last month a fifth (20%) believe the economic condition of the country will improve in the next twelve months, and half (52%) think that it will get worse.

Satisfaction with the government is unchanged this month and remains negative on balance (59% are dissatisfied while 32% are satisfied). David Cameron’s ratings are also consistent with August (52% dissatisfied, 39% satisfied).

Ed Miliband’s ratings have fallen and are now the lowest since he took office. His net satisfaction score now stands at -16, compared to -7 last month and is similar to the rating he got in June, before the phone hacking scandal.  In particular, his ratings have fallen among the over 35s (but are stable among 18-34s). However, all three leaders currently have low satisfaction ratings. Net satisfaction with Nick Clegg has fallen slightly, from -25 to -28, while David Cameron is on -13 (52% dissatisfied, 39% satisfied) consistent with August’s ratings.

Voting intentions this month are Conservatives 35%, Labour 37% and Liberal Democrats 13%, among those who are certain to vote. This is a slight decrease in the Labour share of three points from August, and its lowest share since last October.

Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,008 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 10-12 September 2011.  Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.

Ipsos MORI will be releasing new polling data at the Reuters/ Ipsos MORI Party Conferences 2011 fringe events: “Beyond the Bubble: the voters’ verdict”, exploring what the public really thinks about the parties and their leaders. Speakers include David Davis MP, Hilary Benn MP, Chuka Umunna MP, Simon Hughes MP, Lord Rennard and Isabel Oakeshott from The Sunday Times.

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