Labour's popularity 'hits 20-year low'

Labour's popularity under Tony Blair has reached its lowest rating since he became leader 13 years ago, according to reports.

In a Populus poll carried out for the Times, Labour currently sits at 29 per cent, which is its lowest pre-local election rating for over 20 years.

The Conservatives have led the polls for a year and this latest survey puts the Tories at 37 per cent, but this still fails to give David Cameron's party an overall majority should this be the outcome at the next general election.

It is suggested by the poll that voters are increasingly withholding their support for the two main parties. The Liberal Democrats saw a two point rise to 20 per cent and 14 per cent of those surveyed chose another party, such as the Greens or the UK Independence Party.

Although Mr Blair's party is now comparable in terms of popularity to the Conservative government under John Major, the Tory rating is still not at the level of Labour's during the 1992 to 1997 government.

At that time the Labour opposition saw a rise to 44 per cent, higher than the current Conservative average of 38 per cent from the polls.

The survey also suggests that the next month's Scottish parliament, Welsh Assembly and English town hall elections will be used by voters to cast a vote of judgement on the Labour party and its leader.

In addition, 18 per cent of respondents to the Populus poll said that the elections could be about Gordon Brown as well as Mr Blair.

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