A BPIX poll in the Mail on Sunday has voting intention figures for the local elections. Amongst those respondents who lived in areas with local elections who said they were certain to vote in the local elections, the topline figures were CON 35%, LAB 26%, LDEM 23%, Other 16%. Amongst the others the BNP are at 5%, a figure that will undoubtedly be far lower in real life given the limited number of seats the BNP are contesting.

The council seats up for election this week were last contested in 2002 in London, and 2004 elsewhere. Directly comparable figures from those elections are hard to come by, but to give some sort of context the “national equivalent” votes calculated by Rallings and Thrashers at the two sets of elections were CON 34%, LAB 33%, LDEM 27% in 2002 and CON 37%, LAB 26%, LDEM 27% in 2004. As far as I’m aware national equivalent votes are not a straight sum of the votes in contested seats, but a projection based on seats with all three main parties running, so this is not a direct comparison.

BPIX also asked a normal voting intention question, the topline figures were CON 35%, LAB 32%, LDEM 19%.

On the future of the three ministers currently under fire, 45% of respondents thought that John Prescott should resign (42% would like him to stay), 74% thought Charles Clarke should resign (15% would like him to stay) and 55% thought Patricia Hewitt should resign (27% would like her to stay). Amongst Labour supporters the majority wanted Prescott and Hewitt to stay, but wanted Clarke to resign.

Unpublished in the Mail on Sunday (UK Polling Report has been given sight of the full data set for the poll) there were also a series of questions asking people to say which of a series of positive words (likeable, competent, good leader, caring trsutworthy, etc) applied to particular politicians – once again it underlines the contrasting views of David Cameron and Gordon Brown.

Cameron was seen as likeable by the highest proportion of voters of any of the 11 politicians included – 30% thought he was likeable, the next highest being Tony Blair on 21%. 14% of people thought Gordon Brown was likeable. In contrast, Gordon Brown was seen as competent by more people than any of the other politicians listed – 34% thought he was competent, followed by Tony Blair on 22%. 19% thought Cameron was competent. More people thought Cameron was in touch, but more people thought that Brown was trustworthy.

The public perceptions of the two men who will most likely fight out the next generation already seem to be settling into contrasting images: Cameron as likeable and in touch vs Brown, solid, trustworthy and competent.

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