Labour most liked party – but few feel any political party keeps its promises

With just weeks to the next General Election, what does Ipsos MORI say about the popularity of parties and their leaders?

No party leader has garnered more than half of the vote in Ipsos MORI’s regular poll on who would make the “most capable” UK prime minister.

Bizarrely, incumbent Boris Johnson is still leading for 49% of respondents, though, with Jeremy Corbyn next (30%). These figures were roughly the same in a comparable survey by the same firm in September.

Only about one in four say in the poll that either the Tories or Labour keep their promises (25% vs 26%, respectively). Seven in ten (70%) say the Tories will promise anything to win votes. Sixty-eight percent say the same about Labour.

Gideon Skinner, head of politics at market research firm Ipsos MORI, said: “Labour’s troubles when it comes to public ratings of its leader are not new, although Jeremy Corbyn is starting from a lower base than in 2017.

“But what this research shows is how the image of the party as a whole has been damaged over the last two years. Labour is now seen as more divided than the Conservatives, are seen as more extreme than in 2017, and have fallen further behind on competence ratings like being fit to govern and having a good team of leaders.”

Skinner said, though, that Labour is still seen as a party of the heart rather than the head.

“The public thinks they are more compassionate, and are still the most liked party, although even this has dropped over the last year. The question is whether they can overcome the public’s wider doubts during the rest of the campaign,” he said.

“The Conservatives are not very liked beyond their own support, are also seen as divided, and there is scepticism they will keep their promises, though they are mostly either showing little change or showing small improvements compared with under Theresa May.”

Roughly half of respondents agree the main parties understand the problems facing Britain (46% vs 47%, respectively) or look after the interests of people like them (36% vs 39%). Labour though has its strongest lead over the Conservatives as being concerned about people in real need in Britain (59% vs 34%).

Labour though has its strongest lead over the Conservatives as being concerned about people in real need in Britain (59% vs 34%).

Three-quarters (75%) agree that Labour is divided; 51% that it is “out of date”. Sixty-two percent and 44%, respectively, say the same about the Tories.

The Liberal Democrats have the lowest scores on keeping their promises (18%), but are also seen as less divided (28%) or extreme (23%) than the other parties.

A quarter (27%) apparently like Nigel Farage (67% don’t like him) while another quarter (26%) like the Brexit Party (68% don’t like the Brexit Party).

The results are based on a representative, weighted sample of 1,228 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by phone from 15 to 19 November 2019.

Fleur Doidge is a freelance journalist writing for Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter.

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8 Responses to “Labour most liked party – but few feel any political party keeps its promises”

  1. nshgp

    It’s not bizarre. Boris is optimistic.
    Labour isn’t. It’s going round telling the majority of voters they are stupid and racist to vote leave
    It’s saying we will target people we don’t like.
    The for the many not the few [or jew] is just the same think that gang rapists have. It certainly shows no idea of consent.
    30% of taxes. 220 bn a year goes on the debts and Labour wants to dump even more on the young. £450,000 is the legacy of debt that an 18 year old gets.

  2. Dave Roberts

    London Evening Standard online. Apsana Begum is going to prison, with, hopefully, Corbyn.

  3. Gary

    Well, hopefully I can raise the tone from the trollish remarks I read in the comments section so far! Lol!

    I get it, the polls are asking all the right question, they are properly weighted etc. But they are STILL polls! Remember back in 2017 when may was WAY out in front and was expecting to INCREASE her majority? Then, obviously, she LOST her majority (well, David Cameron’s majority) and ‘did a deal with the Devil’ in the form of the DUP to try and hold power.

    Polls are just polls, we’ve seen how useless they are at predicting outcome. Sure, they ARE showing the direction of travel across the nation ie LibDems and The Brexit Party are being squeezed and Labour and Tory are gaining. But then we have no idea how that will work at constituency level.

    What DID surprise me though was, after years now of smear campaigns, that Corbyn’s popularity on the debate was roughly equal that of Johnson’s. Johnson is always the epitome of the affable, bumbling ‘non-politician’ who ‘keeps it simple’ and his message of ‘Get Brexit Done’ is even resonating with Remain voters who simply want it all to be over. With the movement away from LibDems and Brexit Parties towards the big two then there is still the possibility that Labour can form a government, it may be a minority government with some support from SNP, but nevertheless it IS looking like it may happen. Having completely lost what used to be Labour’s heartlands in Scotland he MUST protect the North of England, if the Brexit Party get the Labour Leave voters they are done for, probably letting yet another party in, but it’s still to play for just yet…

  4. Joe

    Look at the latest leadership ratings.

    Boris Johnson: 41%
    Jeremy Corbyn: 22%

  5. Julia Gibb

    From a local football team to major organisations the leader makes a difference. He sets the tone, the direction of travel, the moral of the team. A good leader creates a winning team and success leads to even greater achievements.
    I detest the thought of another Tory Government. However I know that Corbyn is not a “inspirational leader” and that is what needed at the moment. If Corbyn stood aside for someone like Keir Stammer then a Labour victory would be assured. Unfortunately within the present organisation the replacement of Corbyn would be another dull, mediocre clone selected by momentum.

    Having the biggest Party Membership means nothing if the voting public are not with you.

    Closing your eyes with your fingers in your ears is not going to change the polling data!

  6. Elizabeth Chell

    It is very clear that the critical thing that is not coming across is Corbyn’s leadership style. Given RW press people seem to think that leadership is about being told what to think (that is dictatorship ultimately). Corbyn has a participatory style, which means listening to people’s concerns and as a politician representing them. The last thing that Boris Johnson or his colleagues in the Tory party is listen and represent ordinary people’s interests. This is the fundamental difference.

  7. Tom Sacold

    Julia. Keir Stammer is a right-wing Blairite. He’s in Jeremy’s shadow cabinate to keep the remainers on-side.

    He would never be elected by the membership in a competition with any number of real socialists like John McDonnell

  8. Patrick Newman

    It is truly remarkable that so few voters see through Boris Johnson – so far! As for Jeremy Corbyn the VOX Pop broadcasts rarely ask punters why they do not like him. He has been subject to an unprecedented campaign of lies and vilification but strangely which he does not push back against strongly – almost Jesus like! As for Joe, the only one in this campaign who could end up in prison is the PM who is being investigated by The Independent Office of Police Conduct for his liaison with Arcuri. If anyone should be investigated by the Human Rights and Equality Commission is our racist Prime Minister!

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