Cameron’s popularity slips as Brown’s rises

Gordon Brown’s popularity has risen 6 points to 35 per cent in the last 18 months, with David Cameron's popularity down 9 points to 45 per cent.

After Labour’s landslide victory in 1997, the Conservative Party struggled to find a smooth and marketable leader whom the public would find attractive. William Hague’s baby face and baldness did him no favours with the press, nor did his experiments with a baseball cap.

IDS is barely remembered and Michael Howard often needed to justify why he was running for Prime Minister and not spending more time with his grandchildren.

When David Cameron was chosen party leader in 2005, the Conservatives now had an electoral asset. He looked more like Tony Blair and his popularity ratings were higher than those of his party.

It now seems however that David Cameron’s shine is rubbing off. An Ipsos Mori poll that was mentioned by UK Polling Report but barely noticed by the mainstream press shows that:

• David Cameron’s popularity has dropped 9 points to 45% since the last time this question was asked back in the summer of 2008.

Cameron’s popularity, at that time, was 54% – 12 points higher than that of his party.

• Gordon Brown’s popularity has risen 6 points to 35% in the last 18 months.

It is still 3 points lower than Labour at 38% but a solid improvement nonetheless.

Although there is no clear cut explanation for this trend, some polls suggest that whilst Cameron does well on some personality tests, he falls down on poll questions which ask whether the Leader of the Opposition is ‘all spin not substance’.

This was picked up both by a YouGov poll in September 2009 and a Guardian ICM poll in November 2009.

This shouldn’t be too surprising. Conservative lightness on policy is something regularly commented on – even by the Tory faithful; this week it was the turn of James Forsyth, deputy editor (online) of the Spectator.

Overall, it raises the question of whether the constituents of Bethnal Green and Bow are the voice of the future when recently at Aldgate East Tube Station they suggested to Cameron that he might care to go back to Eton.

Our guest writer is Felix Grenfell Bozek, an intern at the Fabian Society

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

21 Responses to “Cameron’s popularity slips as Brown’s rises”

  1. Jamie Cater

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron’s popularity slips as Brown’s rises:

  2. Ben Cooper

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron’s popularity slips as Brown’s rises:


    RT @BenCooper86: Cameron’s popularity slips as Brown’s rises: > RIP Cameron!

  4. Sunder Katwala

    One is certainly rather disappointed to see such abusive and offensive graffiti being levelled at Mr Cameron by frustrated voters in Aldgate East. One would not want to condone that in any way. Perhaps the author might think it an effective piece of political communication in getting across the point they were trying to make but I can see why the Conservative Party might be disappointed at that.

    On a point of information, I wonder if Left Foot Forward could investigate as to whether the Conservative Party might expect to receive any rebate on the advertising costs if and when any of their posters have been vandalised in this and other ways, which I imagine Lord Ashcroft might feel is undermining the intended message. I wonder if the party have made any claims to date, or might have any estimate of how many posters and how much money is involved?

    Would be interested if LFF were able to report any information on that, perhaps along with some of the other more egregious examples.

  5. Swagata

    Is this not perpetuating personality politics? Also, no mention of Nick Clegg. Is he not popular at all, do the pollsters not ask about him or are you deliberately excluding him?

    Also, I know it’s fun to mock the poster about Cameron and Eton but the Tory leader had little choice in his school. What if residents of Chelsea put a message telling to “fuck off back to Kirkaldy”, or is it fair game to mock Darling for attending Scotland’s oldest boarding school? Personally I’d avoid this sort of prejudice on a blog that tries to put forward a progressive agenda…

    …[Removed by the Editor]

Comments are closed.