The full results of MORI’s poll for the Observer are now available on their website. The topline figures, with changes from last month, are CON 41% (nc), LAB 34%(+3), LDEM 18% (nc).
As ever, it is worth remembering that MORI’s lack of political weighting and their harsh filtering by likelihood to vote means that their figures tend to be more volatile than other pollsters. Last month’s MORI poll showed a Conservative lead of 10 points – the largest for a very long time and a figure that has not be reflected by other pollsters. The broad trend though does tally with the figures produced by Populus in their last poll – the Conservatives have so far retained the support they received after the local elections, but Labour are starting to recover some support.
It is also worth noting that the “other” vote seems to be falling again; other parties in MORI’s poll sum to 8%, perhaps suggesting the boost that minor parties received around the local elections – mainly the BNP and the Greens – is beginning to subside.
MORI’s poll also covered attitudes towards the main political leaders. Asked if leaders are a strength or a weakness to their respective parties, Gordon Brown and David Cameron were both seen as net positives (Brown at +26, Cameron at +31). Tony Blair was seen as a net weakness for the Labour party, with a net score of -21 (54% thought Blair was a weakness for Labour, 33% a strength). John Prescott received a net score of -64.
The fall from grace of Blair and Prescott since 1997 is huge. Back in 1997 Blair had a net rating of +60, and Prescott +34. Brown’s rating was +36, suggesting that 9 years of office have not really tarnished his reputation. To put Cameron’s rating in context, Hague scored -41 in 2001, while John Major in 1997 scored +13, with 50% thinking he was a strength for the Conservative party, suggesting Major himself was rather more positively regarded than his party.
Asked if the respective politicians were in touch with ordinary people, there was more of a contrast between Cameron and Brown. 41% thought Cameron was in touch with ordinary people to 31% who disagreed, a net rating of +10, compared to Gordon Brown’s net rating of -8. Tony’s Blair’s current net rating for being in touch is -35, though a look back at his past scores reveals how changeable the ratings are; at the time of the 2000 fuel strikes Blair’s net rating fell to -49, but recovered to zero by 2001 before falling again.