To enjoy the full Mail & Guardian online experience: please upgrade your browser
29 Jun 2008 06:00
Gordon Brown faces a damning verdict from voters ahead of his first anniversary in power, according to a Guardian/ICM poll published this week. It suggests that his prime ministership has been a disappointment: 74% of those questioned say he has been a change for the worse compared with Tony Blair, and only 24% think Labour has a chance of winning the next election while he remains leader.
The poll also gives the Conservatives a record 20-point lead over Labour, six points up on last month.
Labour support has fallen two points to 25%, the lowest recorded in the ICM polls, which began in 1984.
Conservative support, at 45%, is at a 20-year high.
Conservative support has increased four points since last month’s Guardian/ICM poll, and three points since another more recent ICM poll. Labour support has dropped two points since the last Guardian survey.
Liberal Democrat support, at 20%, is two points down, but remains only five points behind Labour, the narrowest gap on record. Backing for other parties, at 10%, is up one on last month, partly because of the strong nationalist performance in Scotland.
The figures record the dramatic decline in Labour fortunes since Brown took over as leader. A year ago Labour had a four-point lead over the Tories in the June Guardian/ICM poll. Support for the party, at 39%, was 14 points higher than it is today.
Voters also think Brown has failed personally as prime minister. Asked to rate his performance on a scale of one to 10, voters give Brown only 3,94 on average. Almost a quarter, 23%, give him a one.
Even people who remain loyal to Labour are unconvinced by the prime minister’s performance: only 4% give him full marks. Among people who voted Labour in 2005, many of whom now back other parties, 54% give him five out of 10 or less.
Attitudes are much the same among all socioeconomic groups, all parts of the country, and between men and women.
A majority of people who backed Labour at the last election, 57%, say they do not think the party can win again with Brown as leader. Even among current Labour supporters, 38% think Brown cannot win.
Labour is shedding support to both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats: 17% of people who backed the party in 2005 are thinking of backing the Tories instead, while 7% may vote Lib Dem.
The government has struggled to retain even its core supporters over the last year. Among people who voted Labour in 2005, only 3% of voters say their impression of the prime minister and his party has gone up, while 46% say it has gone down.
The government is also suffering from the economic downturn. Only 13% of respondents agree with ministerial claims that Britain’s problems are the result of global difficulties.
Most believe the government should take some, or most, of the responsibility: 86% think that government decisions have played a part, and 40% think government is mainly or wholly to blame.—
Create Account | Lost Your Password?