YouGov’s monthly poll for the Telegraph has topline voting intention figures, with changes from the last YouGov poll, of CON 45%(-2), LAB 26%(+1), LDEM 17%(+1). There is also a slight improvement in Brown’s ratings as PM and on the forced choice question, but they remain dire – this is really another no change poll.

The poll was conducted between the 23rd and 25th July and the nature of YouGov’s fieldwork means the majority of responses come on the first day, so almost all of the fieldwork would have been done prior to the Glasgow East result and the resultant press coverage.

YouGov also asked a series of questions about how David Cameron is seen. While questions in recent polls show Gordon Brown is viewed negatively across the board, there are still far more nuanced views of David Cameron. In some areas his public impage is unambiguously good – 57% think he is likeable (22% think the opposite), 52% think his is caring (22% uncaring), 51% think he is competent (19% incompetent), 45% think he is decisive (28% indecisive). There are still negative marks on his image though. He is still viewed as a lightweight by 50% of people, inexperienced by 57%, not in touch with ordinary people by 44%, somewhat shallow by 39%.

How much this matters at the moment is a different question. Cameron has a huge lead in best Prime Minister questions when put aside Gordon Brown (37% to 18% in this poll), and the details of Independent’s ComRes poll find that people agree he is ready to be Prime Minister by 46% to 42%. Clearly being seen as shallow and lightweight isn’t that much of a hindrance to him.

Cameron’s ratings are very positive – but there are negatives lurking under the surface, people do recognise some downsides to the Conservative leader in terms of being a bit insubstantial and shallow. With Brown as the alternative it doesn’t matter of course, he is loathed, but when Labour get round to removing him Cameron won’t necessarily automatically outshine Brown’s replacement.

10 Responses to “YouGov – Cameron competent but lightweight”

  1. Some crums of hope for Labour emthinks….

    If DC is considered to be the best choice for PM by 37% then, assuming DD is not favoured by the other 8% of Tory voters, a new Labour leader may have an unsure vote to capture. Maybe we should ask the former DPM who he thinks has the gravitas to challenge Dave “the Golden Child”…! :o

  2. All of the above emphasises why GB has to go from the Labour Party’s point of view. Cameron’s weaknesses of last summer haven’t gone away, but they are suppressed by the electorate’s disates for Gordon.

    Labour has to be brave enough to save itself.

  3. It would be interesting to run a poll of who the British electorate think should be a coalition of all the talents. IMHO both Alex Salmond and Vince Cable might well be a more popular choice for PM than either Cameron or Brown. It must for example be very disconcerting to Tory loyalists that the party’s defence spokesman advocates closing down the UK defence aircraft industry to buy from the US. Nor did Cameron’s off the cuff views on the disabled win him many favours.

  4. Competent and lightweight seem somewhat contradictory.
    I don’t think the Tories will be too worried by this poll, only that we still need to remind some of our people that we still have a lot of seats to gain (117 for a workable majority of 10).
    It is, actually, something of a bonus for an opposition leader to have such high ratings atall. Mrs Thatcher, despite all her qqualities, didn’t really start to enjoy those until the Winter of Discontent, and still lagged Jim Callaghan, who was personally well liked but seen as attached to a union label which was very unpopular.

  5. Rallings and Thrasher’s figures are that the Tories will be on 210 seats under the new boundaries, so that means they need 116 gains for a majority of 2, and 120 gains for a majority of 10. That doesn’t include any changes caused by by-elections such as Crewe & Nantwich.

  6. The comments about Cameron are not sensible and, I suspect, reflect in some cases a political agenda. Of course he is inexperienced – how could it be otherwise? He has made mistakes and will make more.What did the polls say about Thatcher in 1977? Thatcher was equally inexperienced at the same stage – and remember how that turned out.I suggest no other politician in Parliament could have been as succesful as Cameron in the time he has had available, certainly not Davies.The Conservatives fortunately made the right choice.

  7. I accept competent but lightweight; Cameron has appeal, has done his job well so far but has not dished out heavy policies, nor had tons of experience (even as Party Head he is still fairly new). I’d view it as a fair summary; lightweight should go a lot when the Tories actually release some policies…

  8. “Labour must be brave enough to save itself” – true, but it won’t be.

    I think that there are now 2 major groups of Labour MPs with some between the 2 – the ones in marginals who are almost certainly out in 2010, so are resigned to their fate or are trying to curry favour with the leaders, and the ones with solid majorities who nonetheless have been galvanised by Glasgow East.

    Labour must be wary of the 2nd group to prevent their trip to the political wilderness. It is they who will dominate the PLP post-2010. They don’t need to worry about swing voters; they rely on getting the vote-shy Labour core out to vote when times are tough. Therefore they will be most attracted by the unions’ proposals and we can see the threat of a PLP swing to the left post-2010, and possibly right now on the 2010 manifesto if Warwick II goes their way.

  9. David Cameron has put together a lot of policy work, although perhaps a lot of it has been fairly workmanlike and not always spelt out. I find that encouraging because they really are thinking about what is right to do.

    I have been one of those demanding tax cuts but he has rightly reminded us of the very high debt burden there is likely to be.

    People can’t really have it both ways.

  10. I have noticed that every July since 2002, when YouGov first began the voter intention question, the Conservative share has either stayed unchanged or dropped slightly (at least with the Daily Telegraph) – whether this is pure coincidence or a lot of Tory voters travel on holiday at this time of year I’m not sure.
    I think David Cameron has something to say on any issue put to him by interviewers. If he were to lay out detailed specific policies now rather than at the general election he would probably be branded inflexible and not adapting to changing circumstances.