LONDON, June 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
New research from Lord Ashcroft shows the Conservative Party has fallen back on crucial measures of public confidence since the start of the year. This is the result of the party having spent six months "talking amongst ourselves" rather than delivering on voters' priorities, according to the Tory peer.
As well as losing ground on measures such as having a good team of leaders and being for everyone, not just the better off, the Conservatives are now neck-and-neck with Labour on dealing with immigration and crime - issues on which the Tories have traditionally held a comfortable lead.
Though only a quarter of voters say they are satisfied with the job David Cameron is doing overall as Prime Minister, a majority still prefer him to Ed Miliband - less than a third say they would rather see the Labour leader in Number 10.
The main findings of the research include:
- Voting intention: Labour 37%, Conservative 27%, UKIP 15%, Lib Dem 9%
- Only 28% of voters see the Conservative Party as "united", compared to 48% who say the same of Labour.
- 38% most trust Cameron and Osborne to manage the economy, compared to 33% who most trust Miliband and Balls - though Labour are thought more likely to "cut the deficit without hurting the most vulnerable" and have taken a slight lead on "helping business to grow and recover".
- 37% expect the economy to improve significantly in the next two or three years, while 63% think that by that time things will be no better, or even worse than they are now - though these figure has not changed since January, suggesting that economic pessimism may have bottomed out.
- 24% say they are satisfied with the job David Cameron is doing overall as Prime Minister, and a further 33% say they are dissatisfied but would prefer him as PM to Ed Miliband. Only 30% would rather see Miliband in Downing Street.
- 40% of voters expect a Labour government after the next election, while 29% expect a Conservative government. 13% expect another Conservative-Lib Dem coalition, and 18% a Labour-Lib Dem coalition.
In his commentary on the research, which will be published on Conservative Home on Friday, Lord Ashcroft says:
"The year started promisingly enough. The government's mid-term review aimed to show what had been achieved and set the agenda for the rest of the parliament. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's Europe speech was supposed to clear the decks and allow us to talk about the things we were elected to do.
"So much for all that. My poll shows the last six months to have been a missed opportunity to make progress on all the things that will determine who wins in 2015."
He notes, however, that the poll also contains little good news for Labour:
"The ten-point Labour lead is familiar, though 37% is not much of a score for an opposition party expecting to sweep to power in 23 months' time".
Lord Ashcroft argues that, for the Tories, the state of the polls is "the price we have paid for spending half a year talking amongst ourselves", and concludes:
"All in all, the first half of 2013 represents a time of stagnation that we could hardly afford. We have a good case to make on many of the policy areas on which we have lost ground, including crime, immigration, welfare reform and the economy. But people will only hear that case if we use the available air time to make it. The latest round of parliamentary scandal will make people all the more resistant to what we have to say, and the spending review later this month makes it all the more necessary to show we are doing what people expect of us. There is no more time to waste."
Notes to Editors
- A full summary of the poll results is attached.
- 2,060 adults were interviewed online, and 1,007 by telephone, between 31 May and 2 June 2013. Results have been weighted to be politically representative of all adults in Britain. Full data tables will be available at LordAshcroftPolls.com on Friday.
- Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC is an international businessman, author and philanthropist. He is founder and Chairman of the Board of Crimestoppers, a member of the Board of the Imperial War Museum and a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum Foundation, Chairman of the Trustees of Ashcroft Technology Academy, Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University and Treasurer of the International Democrat Union. From 2005 to 2010 he was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party.
- His political books and research papers include Smell The Coffee (2005), Minority Verdict (2010), What Future For Labour? (2010), What Future For The Liberal Democrats? (2010), Crime, Punishment & The People (2011), Project Blueprint (2011 & 2012), The Leadership Factor (2011), Degrees of Separation (2012), The Armed Forces & Society (2012), Blue Collar Tories (2012), Project Red Alert (2012), They're Thinking What We're Thinking: Understanding The UKIP Temptation (2012), What Are The Liberal Democrats For? (2013) and MarginalTerritory (2013).
- Full details of Lord Ashcroft's polling and commentary can be found at LordAshcroftPolls.com, where you can sign up for news alerts. You can also follow him on Twitter: @LordAshcroft.