The change in public opinion that the blues should most fear: The return of the “Toxic Tories”

October 28th, 2012

Over the last couple of days there’s been a lot of focus on the Ipsos-MORI finding that more people now dislike David Cameron than like him.

The same polling also produced findings on like and dislike of the Conservative party itself which were, perhaps, more worrying for the party. The chart above based on Ipsos-MORI data going back to 2007 shows how perceptions of the party have changed over time – and the trend is not looking good.

In the latest polling the blues had the worst figures of all three main parties with 60% saying they didn’t like the party against just 35% saying they did. The Lib Dems, by contrast, had 52% dislike to 40% like. The Labour figures were 42% dislike to 51% like.

    Where this matters in electoral terms is what it could do to tactical voting – a dynamic that saw has hurt the blues over many elections though to a lesser extent in 2010.

One of the main drivers behind the poor votes-seats return that the Conservatives experience has been that in many marginals the desire of a significant segment of voters has been to stop the Tories rather than to back one of the other parties.

Cameron and Osborne must hope that an improving economy will change this.

Mike Smithson

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