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If this Ipsos-MORI polling is right then party leaders are becoming less important

January 15th, 2014

mori parties leader

Never have all been rated so badly

There’s some interesting polling just been released by Ipsos-MORI on party leadership which has the not so remarkable conclusion that:-

“The average combined satisfaction rating of the leaders of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties is lower today than Ipsos MORI has ever seen in recent history, at an equivalent time before a general election. The average combined net satisfaction score (% satisfied minus % dissatisfied) of the three leaders in December 2013 (17 months before a May 2015 general election) was -22, compared to, for example, -1 in December 2008 (17 months before the May 2010 election), +1 in December 2003, -3 in January 2000 and +1 in December 1995. While individual leaders have had lower scores in the past, this is the lowest across all three combined.”

The chart above is from the same presentation and suggests that since GE2010 the importance of the party leader has become less important. At the same time we see a revival in the notion of party.

My guess is that a lot of this explains the UKIP surge. All three main parties finished up at GE2010 as losers. Cameron didn’t win a majority; Labour lost power and the LDs lost seats even though there vote share increased. Since then we’ve had a coalition government that nobody voted for and where compromise is the name of the game.

Add on the continuing problems that EdM has in establishing himself, even with Labour supporters and you can start to explain why the three of them are seen so negatively.

My view is that the big driver as never before will be how negative voters feel about both the parties and the leaders and that we’ll see more tactical voting on both right and left.

Mike Smithson

Ranked the 33rd most influential person aged 50+ on Twitter