The Ipsos-Mori political monitor is out today, so now is as good a time as any to compare how party leaders are faring compared to this time last year. One of the more interesting sets of figures is how party supporters think that their leaders are doing – and the figures make difficult reading for the Prime Minister, and Ed Miliband too. Let’s take a look at Cameron first:
Whilst in July 2011 Cameron had a +58 approval rating amongst Tory supporters, now it’s down to just +35. Presumably rows over Europe, Lords Reform and whether or not the PM is “out of touch” have alienated a substantial chunk of Tory supporters. This won’t help the rumblings of discontent on the Tory Right and on the backbenches. Of course the more people who turn against him, the worse his ratings are likely to get – it’s a vicious circle.
Now let’s look at Ed Miliband:
Whilst his slump is by no means as pronounced as Cameron’s, he started from a much lower base. Despite Cameron’s plummeting approval rating, Tory voters are still more likely to approve of Cameron than Labour supporters are to approve of Ed Miliband. That said, it should be remembered that last July Miliband was seeing a popularity boost in the wake of the News International affair. It’s also important to note that opposition leaders are also more likely to illicit a “Don’t know” response (13% of Labour voters are undecided on Miliband).
Despite being the least unpopular party leader overall (with a rating of -18 compared to Cameron’s -27 and Clegg’s -38), he still clearly has some way to go in convincing Labour supporters that he’s up to the job of Prime Minister.
The question is, is being the least unpopular overall enough, if your own supporters aren’t enthused?
Update: Incidentally, the leader who is more popular with his supporters according to Ipsos-Mori than he was a year ago? Nick Clegg – up from +6 to +13. Still the least popular – but the only leader moving up compared to 12 months ago.