The latest ICM/Guardian poll shows a dramatic decline in the Conservative share of the vote, perhaps an inevitably reflection of the difficult month the Conservative-led government has endured. They fall 6-points to 33%, with Labour reaping the gains; up 5-points to stand above the critical 40% benchmark for securing overall majorities (41%) – a level they have not seen since May 2003. The Liberal Democrats are unchanged on 15%, but this poll shows little of the significant rise that online polling firms have shown for UKIP.
David Cameron’s personal ratings are also down and while he is not exactly on the ropes, he has taken some serious punches. Only 31% say he “understands people like me”, a fall from 42% in August 2010 (and from 34% in Dec 2011). One in three (37%) thinks he’s “good in a crisis”, but with 50% saying he is not, that’s a -13 deficit. Add into that the fact that 50% agreed he was good in a crisis in Dec 11, and four short months have seen a big turnaround for him. A majority (55%) DON’T think he looks after the interests of the many, but then that could be said about most politicians (including Ed Milliband – although he suffers least on this measure).
Ed Milliband receives a ringing endorsement. Only 18% think he’s good in a crisis, which is half the level Cameron got and LOWER than Milliband secured in Dec (21% agreed then). He does fare slightly better than Cameron on understanding people but at 35%, he’s lower than he himself performed in Dec (37% agreed then). These are hardly figures that underpin a positive movement toward Labour. These bad polling numbers are clearly the result of frustration with the Tories, rather than a philosophical move to Labour. This lead may be short lived.
David Cameron & George Osborne do still have clear blue water on economic competence (44%) vs 31% for the Labour team, and indeed they would say that 44% is a pretty good score as it is UP 2-points on March 2012. However, a trend is now well formed: at 13-points the gap over Labour has fallen from 21% to 18% to 17% to 13% now.
Finally, the poll looked at people’s appetite for city-wide referendums. People are almost twice as likely to prefer the council model of local government (61%) to the Mayoral model (34%).
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