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PM dips in poll as Lib Dems, Labour go up

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 12, 2011

David Cameron

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David Cameron's personal popularity among voters in the South West has dropped, a Western Morning News/Marketing Means survey has revealed.

But the Prime Minister remains the most popular of the three main party leaders as the Westminster show prepares for conference season.

The Conservative leader's approval rating is zero, with 39 per cent of those polled saying he is doing a good job, and 39 per cent saying bad. Mr Cameron's neutral rating in the South West is down 2 per cent on last month.

The poll was taken last weekend as there appeared no end in sight to the gloomy economic data underlining the fragile state of the British economy.

By contrast, 23 per cent of voters were satisfied with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and 48 per cent dissatisfied.

The poll result gives the Lib Dem leader a net score of minus 25 per cent, down 3 per cent on August.

Labour's Ed Miliband is also deep in negative territory. The Opposition leader's score is minus 26 per cent – one down on last month – with 45 per cent saying he is doing a bad job.

September and October are crucial months for the party leaders as they deliver keynote speeches at their respective party conferences.

But there was better news for the Lib Dems, who kick off the conference season in Birmingham next Saturday, as they saw their overall party rating climb again.

The Conservatives retain a commanding lead in the greater South West, according to the results of the latest South West Poll, carried out by Ashburton-based Marketing Means.

The Tories are on 40 per cent (no change on August), Labour on 23 per cent (up 2 per cent) and the Lib Dems on 22 per cent (up 1 per cent).

However, the Lib Dem's moderate poll increase among South West voters in September follows a 5 per cent surge in the previous month.

After joining the coalition Government with the Tories in May last year, the Lib Dems' popularity went into freefall after hitching itself to unpopular policies and deep public spending cuts.

While clawing back support, the Lib Dems are still 13 per cent below the 35 per cent of the vote they achieved at last year's general election in the region.

That Labour has moved into second place outright in the region is a huge surprise, given that it was only the fourth largest party in places at the general election.

Against criticism that the Government is not doing enough to kick-start the economy, the parties are yet to disclose the major themes that will run through conference.

Following last year's spending review, many are looking to Chancellor George Osborne for incentives to encourage the private sector to grow.

But one political insider claimed last week that Tory preparations are "particularly chaotic", with the conference programme "short on both ideas and a theme".

The Lib Dems are likely to focus on the their achievements in Government, such as the £625 million pupil premium and the rise in the income tax threshold to £10,000.

But this could be over-shadowed by frustration over controversial reform of the NHS, which was passed in the Commons last week, despite opposition from backbenchers.

Labour, meanwhile, will almost certainly attempt to pick apart the Government's economic strategy and lack of a "plan B" or alternative to deep spending cuts.

The South West Poll monitors voting behaviour in the region each month.

Marketing Means interviewed a random sample of adults aged 18-plus in the seven-county-wide South West region by telephone and online between September 1 and 4, 2011.

A total of 614 responses were achieved. For full results, visit www.marketingmeans.co.uk

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  • Taxman100  |  September 13 2011, 2:40PM

    Karen. I'll talk to you. Glad to hear you are making a success of your life by becoming an electrotherapist. But, which type are? Do you put electrodes on peoples heads in order to make them 'comply'? If so, that's torture, and is prohibited under the protocols of the Geneva Convention. Or, do you simply remove unwanted hair? If it is the latter, then I am not a potential customer, as I am almost as bald as a billiard ball. It wasn't Charlespk who used Latin, it was me, and it is as a result of my Grammar School education, where I was brainwashed into learning the subject - you know, just like our defenceless children are being taught the long dead Cornish language. You have certainly discovered the non-required and elitist 'buzz' words, 'occupationally fulfilled' and 'point of political atrophy'. Dammed if I know what they mean - but, that's the modern elitist English Language I suppose! Have a nice day!

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  • Karen362  |  September 13 2011, 1:50PM

    Conks a KGB spy? Nah, it's probably another of those myths like the one about soviet communism being in decline, surely? Who's this Charlespk, all of a sudden, though? I bet you anything it's someone from the Foreign Office been sent to mediate this site. Who else still remembers their Latin, huh? Yeah, you know if anything annoys me about Camers - it's his overt tendency to seem so occupationally fulfilled when the rest of us are being radicalised to the point of political atrophy - er, or did I mean apathy? Sorry, I'm teaching myself to be an electrotherapist in my spare time at the moment and extending my lexicon to include a few new "buzz words" - geddit? Oh, never mind... just talk amongst yourselves.

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  • Charlespk  |  September 13 2011, 1:47PM

    I hold no brief for David Cameron, but you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear Taxman100. . The damage has already been done. . People have been living beyond their means for far too long now. . You have to be a masochist to go into politics in these days of Facebook and celebrity worship IMO. . I think people just need a reality check. . They've all been led to believe there is some magic 'they' who owe them a living. . The generation that suffered from the Wartime deprivation and austerity, and then started with nothing, are now being pilloried by those who just believe they are entitled to everything just for being born. We had 3 children before we afforded a telephone. . They now all believe a mobile telephone is an entitlement from childhood.

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  • Taxman100  |  September 13 2011, 12:34PM

    Charlespk. I don't think Conkerhead is a Soviet spy or on wacky baccy - he is just a realist! I assume, like me, he prefers leaders who lead from the front, and not those who hibernate, while 'Rome burns', in comfortable villa's. On this occasion Conkerhead was wrong. The PM has been on holiday in Cornwall (twice), and I do not recall 'the tanning sunshine'. decipi quam fallere est tutius

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  • Taxman100  |  September 13 2011, 12:33PM

    Charlespk. I don't think Conkerhead is a Soviet spy or on wacky baccy - he is just a realist! I assume, like me, he prefers leaders who lead from the front, and not those who hibernate, while 'Rome burns', in comfortable villa's. On this occasion Conkerhead was wrong. The PM was on holiday in Cornwall (twice), and I do not recall 'the tanning sunshine'. decipi quam fallere est tutius

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  • Charlespk  |  September 12 2011, 10:08PM

    Is conkerhead really a Soviet spy, an escapee from Dartmoor or is he just on the wacky baccy I'm wondering?

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  • conkerhead  |  September 12 2011, 7:49PM

    This is no time for the PM to go dipping in pools, he should be out their fighting for Britain and not sunning himself at the taxpayers expense.

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  • Charlespk  |  September 12 2011, 7:36PM

    The missing link. http://tinyurl.com/5uxhrms

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  • Charlespk  |  September 12 2011, 7:32PM

    To continue to just blame the Bankers for a catastrophe that was being signposted as far back as 1991 is being pretty disingenuous I think. . Everyone knew it couldn't go on. . The world was just playing 'pass the parcel'(of debt. First published in the Western Daily Press on SEPTEMBER 11th. 2001. Dear Editor, It's 12 midday on WEDNESDAY 20th. MARCH 2011 AD. The City is deathly quiet. The Air Quality Police haven't reopened the City since The Festival break in December and all vehicles are still banned. There are lights flashing from alarm systems but no-one seems to notice them. Most shops are just full of imitation goods for display purposes since audible alarms were made illegal by Tony Blair in 2005. Most retailers are claiming "Set-Aside" on empty shops or just selling sandwiches to illegals so it doesn't really matter anyway. It's been 9yrs. (I was a bit early. edited 22/11/2008) since the Great Wipe out, the stock market crash that revealed the enormous Index-Linked Pension Pyramid. Fortunately David Blunket our new Prime Minister defied Brussels and closed our borders so at least we were able to 'dig in' and survive, not like the continentals. The Tourists got fed up with Europe anyway. Cities became so overrun with addicts and illegals that everyone works from home now and city living has lost its appeal, most are now like neglected Theme Parks. People have long since abandoned Early Retirement. When their Pensions were devalued they wanted proper jobs to do, fortunately there's plenty of security work for the ex-policemen but even most of them stay at home and try to relearn some of the old domestic skills. The young people have started looking after their own babies again as they have begun to realise that child rearing is the most important and satisfying task that mankind has ever had to master. Global Warming hasn't happened yet in fact it's been another damned cold winter, neither did the Car Boom, recession saw to that and any way it was a pretty stupid proposition to suggest that 60,000,000 people would want 60,000,000 Cars. I mean half the population are old people and babies. Now that we've all got P.T.U.'s (Personal Transport Units) that are so quiet, clean and safe the young people are paying fortunes for 1980's Turbo-Charged Hot Cars.( :| Open link in new window.) The idiots who invested in Public Transport at the turn of the century really got their fingers burnt once there wasn't any money for subsidies. Our P.T.U.'s have now got a range of 350mls. between recharge (a bit optimistic) so who is going to bother with filthy trams and trains infested with druggies. 50% of railway lines have already been turned into Motorways as the Internet now accounts for 80% of all goods purchased. The distributors and carriers found the rail network was totally unworkable. Bill Gates was made bankrupt yesterday. Apple took over the Internet and it is now secure and idiot proof, and they now have the backing of the Big Two Banks. Goodness me! the shop bell! it's 2.30pm. a customer ? . . . The Festival must really be over! . . Ssh!. .We're not allowed to call it Christmas anymore. . . . . Oh no it's not. . . . It Looks like John Turner selling 'The Big Issue' . . . . My word he's showing his age! . . . Last time I saw him he was going to be the new Director General of the BBC and was campaigning to get cannabis made illegal again . . It Can't Be. . . CAN IT ? "Hello JT. . How's your luck mate!"

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  • Taxman100  |  September 12 2011, 5:52PM

    Sinjis_Things. 1. We are paying to clean up the bankers mess, because if we did not we would be in an even worse financial position. 2. Yes, Cameron could reduce his salary. Although perhaps before asking him to reduce his mediocre salary of £145,000 (low for a PM), we could ask Council Leaders, including ours, to take a £100,000 cut to bring their salaries in line with his!

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