ITV News Index Negative Campaigns
Poll of 2,000 British adults on the general election campaigns run by the parties for ITV News

CONSERVATIVE NEGATIVE ATTACKS ON MILIBAND MAKE THEM LOOK NASTY

Following the Conservative attacks on Ed Miliband last week led by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, a new poll by ComRes for ITV shows that around half (46%) of Britons think the Conservatives have shown themselves to be the nasty party. Indeed, the message doesn’t seem to be cutting through with half (51%) of Britons disagreeing that Ed Miliband beating his brother to be leader of the Labour Party shows he has a bad moral character, just one in four (23%) agree.

On the campaigns more generally, the Conservative campaign is more likely to be described as “dirty” than the Labour campaign (30% and 20% respectively), while both the Conservative and Labour campaigns are described as boring and negative by a third of Britons.

Only 17% of Britons describe the Labour election campaign as ‘inspiring’, and only 14% of Britons say the same about the Conservative campaign.

  1. In the past couple of weeks, how would you describe the election campaigns and what you have seen and heard from each of the following parties?
Lab Con
Boring 33% 32%
Negative 31% 33%
Confusing 30% 26%
Positive 29% 26%
Dirty 20% 30%
Bold 18% 17%
Inspiring 17% 14%
Haven’t heard anything from them 17% 17%

Base: GB adults (n=2,036).

Findings in detail

Priorities for the Government

  • The NHS remains the biggest priority for Britons (49%) with immigration in second place on 44%. Immigration has fallen as a priority by 5 points since January compared to the NHS just down 1.
  • Those aged 65+ (57%) are far more likely to say controlling immigration is a priority than those aged 18-24 (22%).
  1. Which of the following do you think should be the biggest priority for the Government at the present time?
Statement %
Managing the NHS 49%
Controlling immigration 44%
Keeping the cost of everyday items, such as food, energy and travel 23%
Making sure that the benefits of economic growth are felt by all 20%
Promoting UK economic growth 20%
Reducing the Government’s budget deficit 18%
Making the welfare system fairer 18%
Providing adequate care for the elderly 17%
Redefining Britain’s relationship with the EU 16%
Improving housing affordability 16%
Improving the education system 10%
Reducing crime and anti-social behaviour 8%
Don’t know 6%

Base: All GB adults (n=2,036).

Trust in parties on the issues

  • On the most important issue (managing the NHS), Labour lead the Conservatives by 13 points (37% to 24%), while UKIP lead the Conservatives on controlling (39% to 18%).
  • Despite the campaign beginning, very little has changed in terms of trust in the parties on these key policy issues.

Q: Which party do you trust most to…

 

Statement Lab Con Lib Dem UKIP Don’t know
Promote UK economic growth 26%(+2) 39%(NC) 4%(-1) 7%(-1) 24%(NC)
Make sure that the benefits of economic growth are felt by all 34%(+2) 24%(+1) 8%(NC) 7%(NC) 27%(NC)
Redefine Britain’s relationship with the EU 21%(+1) 26%(+1) 4%(-1) 23%(-1) 26%(+1)
Manage the NHS 37%(+1) 24%(+1) 7%(+1) 6%(NC) 25%(-3)
Control immigration 17%(+2) 18%(-2) 3%(-1) 39%(+1) 24%(NC)
Keep down the cost of everyday items, such as food, energy and travel 34%(+2) 25%(+1) 6%(-1) 6%(+1) 29%(-3)
Improve the education system 31%(+1) 26%(-2) 10%(+1) 6%(NC) 27%(-1)
Improve housing affordability 36%(NC) 20%(-3) 7%(NC) 7%(+1) 30%(+1)
Reduce crime and anti-social behaviour 23%(+1) 31%(-1) 5%(NC) 10%(+1) 31%(-1)
Reduce the Government’s budget deficit 21%(+1) 43%(-1) 4%(NC) 6%(+1) 25%(-2)
Make the welfare system fairer 34%(NC) 26%(+1) 9%(NC) 8%(NC) 23%(NC)
Provide adequate care for the elderly 34%(NC) 19%(-2) 9%(NC) 7%(+2) 31%(NC)

Base: All GB adults (n=2,036). Numbers in bracket are percentage point change since 20th March 2015

Election Campaigns

  1. In the past couple of weeks, how would you describe the election campaigns and what you have seen and heard from each of the following parties?

 

Lab Con
Boring 33% 32%
Negative 31% 33%
Confusing 30% 26%
Positive 29% 26%
Dirty 20% 30%
Bold 18% 17%
Inspiring 17% 14%
Haven’t heard anything from them 17% 17%

Base: GB adults (n=2,036).

Party Leaders

  1. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

 

Statement Agree Disagree Don’t know
Ed Miliband is a risk to Britain’s safety 34% 40% 25%
David Cameron has been effective against threats to Britain’s safety such as ISIS and Vladimir Putin 34% 35% 30%
Ed Miliband will stop at nothing to get into power 40% 32% 28%
Facing down so many personal attacks shows that Ed Miliband is a resilient leader 43% 33% 24%
Ed Miliband beating his brother to be leader of the Labour Party shows he is a strong leader 28% 44% 27%
Ed Miliband beating his brother to be leader of the Labour Party shows he has a bad moral character 23% 51% 26%
It is right that politicians attack their opponent’s character as it is important in understanding who to vote for 25% 53% 22%
By personally attacking Ed Miliband, the Conservatives have shown themselves to be the nasty party 46% 33% 22%

Base: GB adults (n=2,036).

 

 

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Date Published
14th April 2015
Client
ITV News
Methodology
ComRes interviewed 2,036 British adults online between 10th and 12th April 2015. Data were weighted to be representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

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