An ICM poll yesterday suggested that 53% of people agreed with Jack Straw’s comments on Muslim women wearing the veil, with 36% disagreeing (compare this result with the voodoo polls
paraded around by the Express and Radio Five Live last week).

The latest figures from YouGov’s BrandIndex political trackers suggest it has given Jack Straw a real boost. His net popularity (the proportion of people with a positive impression of Straw minus the proportion of people with a negative impression) has short up fifteen points since his comments, from minus 15 to a net score of zero in the most recent figures. This makes him the only Labour politician tracked who doesn’t have a negative score.

The latest figures also show the results of the party conference season on perceptions of party image and on the leaders’ job approval ratings. A rough summary would be that the Lib Dems enjoyed a brief boost in people’s perception of the party and in how well Sir Menzies Campbell is doing as leader, but that it rapidly subsided once the conference was over.

In contrast Labour also saw a rise in people’s perception of their competence and the proportion of people who though they’d made it clear what they stood for, but the increase in their figures has been sustained (at least so far). Equally Tony Blair saw a big boost in his ratings that has not yet subsided.

The Conservatives meanwhile saw very little rise in their figures at all – David Cameron saw only a meagre rise in his popularity and there was no boost at all to the party’s image (in fact the proportion of people thinking the Conservatives had made it clear what they stood for fell by 4 points). The only consolation was that Cameron’s emphasis on the NHS in his speech did seem to register, with the Conservatives now equalling Labour as the party with the best policies on the NHS

For the full graphs pdf download the full report HERE.

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