Nick Clegg's personal ratings have languished under Coalition. Miliband has fared slightly better, but Cameron clearly leads.
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Cameron is nearly twice as personally popular as Miliband

The reshuffle is yet to backfire.

David Cameron has brushed aside the reshuffle – he remains nearly twice as popular as Ed Miliband when voters are asked who they would prefer to be Prime Minister.

Data released today by YouGov shows that Cameron’s popularity has ticked down 1 per cent, but he still has a 17-point lead over his Labour opponent.

Cameron has enjoyed relatively strong ratings throughout his premiership, and has consistently held a sizeable lead over Miliband.

But recent ratings have been his best for more than two years. Cameron’s personal ratings have consistently trended upwards since the "cash for access" scandal saw his numbers fall seven per cent over a week in March 2012.

Miliband’s have been far more inconsistent, and haven’t improved much on the nadir he fell to in early 2012, when just 16 per cent of voters viewed him as the best Prime Minister.

A series of small gaffes and a under-developed conference speech on responsible capitalism saw his ratings fall 10 per cent in less than 18 months. By October he had recovered, and reached an all-time of 27 per cent in October 2012 after his well-received "One Nation" conference speech.

But his numbers began to slide again in 2013, and, despite ticking up during Labour conference in September, they remain low.

Cameron, on the other hand, has started to see the fruits of his government’s economic plan. Spurred by a year of 3 per cent growth, and unemployment falling to a six-year low, his personal ratings have recovered – much like his Chancellor’s.

The duo will hope living standards start to rise over the next year. At the moment Labour can still point to how wages remain stubbornly below inflation – people are not feeling this supposed economic recovery.

But today’s data shows that any Labour victory will have to be won on the strength of its arguments – and in spite of its leader.

Ukip's Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall. Photo: Getty
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Is the general election 2017 the end of Ukip?

Ukip led the way to Brexit, but now the party is on less than 10 per cent in the polls. 

Ukip could be finished. Ukip has only ever had two MPs, but it held an outside influence on politics: without it, we’d probably never have had the EU referendum. But Brexit has turned Ukip into a single-issue party without an issue. Ukip’s sole remaining MP, Douglas Carswell, left the party in March 2017, and told Sky News’ Adam Boulton that there was “no point” to the party anymore. 

Not everyone in Ukip has given up, though: Nigel Farage told Peston on Sunday that Ukip “will survive”, and current leader Paul Nuttall will be contesting a seat this year. But Ukip is standing in fewer constituencies than last time thanks to a shortage of both money and people. Who benefits if Ukip is finished? It’s likely to be the Tories. 

Is Ukip finished? 

What are Ukip's poll ratings?

Ukip’s poll ratings peaked in June 2016 at 16 per cent. Since the leave campaign’s success, that has steadily declined so that Ukip is going into the 2017 general election on 4 per cent, according to the latest polls. If the polls can be trusted, that’s a serious collapse.

Can Ukip get anymore MPs?

In the 2015 general election Ukip contested nearly every seat and got 13 per cent of the vote, making it the third biggest party (although is only returned one MP). Now Ukip is reportedly struggling to find candidates and could stand in as few as 100 seats. Ukip leader Paul Nuttall will stand in Boston and Skegness, but both ex-leader Nigel Farage and donor Arron Banks have ruled themselves out of running this time.

How many members does Ukip have?

Ukip’s membership declined from 45,994 at the 2015 general election to 39,000 in 2016. That’s a worrying sign for any political party, which relies on grassroots memberships to put in the campaigning legwork.

What does Ukip's decline mean for Labour and the Conservatives? 

The rise of Ukip took votes from both the Conservatives and Labour, with a nationalist message that appealed to disaffected voters from both right and left. But the decline of Ukip only seems to be helping the Conservatives. Stephen Bush has written about how in Wales voting Ukip seems to have been a gateway drug for traditional Labour voters who are now backing the mainstream right; so the voters Ukip took from the Conservatives are reverting to the Conservatives, and the ones they took from Labour are transferring to the Conservatives too.

Ukip might be finished as an electoral force, but its influence on the rest of British politics will be felt for many years yet. 

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