New poll shows Lib Dem voters fear Coalition, but Tories are content

An Ipsos-MORI poll published yesterday shows the Lib Dems floundering in coalition, while the Conservatives thrive. Tory voters are happy - 85% are hopeful of their government’s potential. But only 54% of Lib Dems are, with 43% describing themselves as fearful of the government. This may reflect the fact that 51% of all voters believe the government is not a ‘genuine coalition’; instead, they think the Conservatives are making most of the decisions.

An Ipsos-MORI poll published yesterday shows the Lib Dems floundering in coalition, while the Conservatives thrive.

Tory voters are happy – 85% are hopeful of their government’s potential. But only 54% of Lib Dems are, with 43% describing themselves as fearful of the government. This may reflect the fact that 51% of all voters believe the government is not a ‘genuine coalition’; instead, they think the Conservatives are making most of the decisions.

This ties into the post-election trend of declining support for the Lib Dems – Labour’s rising poll results have come almost entirely at the expense of Nick Clegg’s party. The Guardian reports today that one in four Lib Dem voters at the last election are considering defecting to Labour. But Clegg himself is not suffering. He has received a 4 point boost since July in the public’s satisfaction with how he is doing his job.

David Cameron is also increasingly popular. His 57% approval rating is higher than when he was in opposition, and sees him virtually level with John Major and more popular than both Mrs Thatcher and Gordon Brown at this stage of their premierships. Tony Blair is the only prime minister who had a significantly higher approval rating four months into the job.

Meanwhile, George Osborne is more popular than any of Thatcher’s chancellors. But we should remember that a popular Tory chancellor is almost an oxymoron. As Left Foot Forward has previously pointed out, both Denis Healey and Brown were significantly more popular Labour chancellors.

These findings should blunt the impact of an ICM/Guardian poll today, which shows the Conservatives at their lowest level of support since the election, on 35% compared to Labour’s 37%. The Ipsos-MORI poll demonstrates that although general satisfaction with the government is falling, the Coalition remains the most popular government other than New Labour since 1979. As Martin Kettle points out, the Coalition is braced for an autumn of disapproval, and Labour underestimate the Coalition at their peril.

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