A new ICM poll for Channel 4 news has the Conservatives and Labour level on 35%. The full topline figures with changes from the last ICM poll in mid-March are CON 35%(+2), LAB 35%(-2), LDEM 21%(nc). While the 35% level of support is a long way below the sort of figures the Tory party was enjoying at the height of David Cameron’s honeymoon, they will be probably be pleased to see a poll where the Tories aren’t heading downwards.

The poll also asked several questions about Cameron’s leadership, though there were few surprises. 58% of people said they thought that while David Cameron was a new face, the Conservative party itself hadn’t changed (23% disagreed) and 40% thought that Cameron’s leadership was more spin than substance (29% disagreed).

There were also several questions asking respondents to compare David Cameron and Gordon Brown, the presumed Labour leader at the next election. Asked who has the qualities to make a good Prime Minister Brown was preferred by 37% to Cameron’s 32% – a five point lead for Brown that is much in line with thestandard “best PM” question asked in polls. Asked which man was tougher, Brown won by a landslide – 61% to 29% – which matches the general pattern we’ve seen in polls like this, Brown wins on questions about toughness and competence while Cameron wins on questions of likeability, though none were asked in this poll. Perhaps more worryingly for Cameron, Brown leads on the question of which man most “understands the needs of people like me”, 44% to 34%.

(NB – this poll isn’t up on ICM’s website yet, so no dates for when it was conducted and no info on an methodological differences to ICM’s normal polls for the Sunday Telegraph and Guardian. That said, there’s no reason to think it wasn’t done last week using normal methodology)


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