• Cameron’s ratings drop after “hug-a-hoodie” speech and EPP delay
  • Labour unscathed by Lord Levy arrest

The latest figures from YouGov’s daily political trackers are picking up a significant downturn in David Cameron’s job approval figures. Prior to the local elections Cameron’s figures had begun to fall – after his trip to Norway and the press coverage of his shoes being chauffeur driven behind his bike his net approval rating fell to +13, but then the Conservative’s local election successes gave him a huge boost, pushing his net approval up to +28. It stayed in the low twenties through May and June, since the start of July however it has begun to fall, quite precipitously in the last few days.

Over the last two weeks David Cameron has made his “hug-a-hoodie” speech, a speech which was quite thoughtful in reality, but was disasterously spun and has been the subject of much mockery in the press. He also quietly announced that his pledge to remove Conservative MEPs from the EPP-ED in the European Parliament was to be delayed until 2009. During that time his net approval rating has dropped to +12, the lowest recorded so far.

It’s impossible to link the drop directly to either event. The proportion of people thinking that the Conservatives have the best policies on crime has dropped slightly from around 33% up until now, to only 30% since the “hug-a-hoodie” speech, that is only a small drop, but does suggest that the crime speech had some impact. It’s important to note that Cameron’s job approval figures are still vastly higher than Blair on minus 34 and Menzies Campbell on minus 15 but it isn’t a good trend for him.

Meanwhile, there was surprisingly little impact on the trackers from the arrest of Lord Levy. Satisfaction with the government and with Tony Blair personally both remain very low, but there was no dramatic fall after the arrest. Possibly the public have already factored the loans for peerages scandal into their opinions, or Labour are reaching their real hardcore of support. Either way, it suggests that baring major new developments in the “loans for peerages” affair, such as criminal charges being brought or Blair himself being interviewed, it doesn’t look as though it is going to have a huge effect.

More details and graphs are in the pdf below:

pdf Download full report HERE.

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