Who likes which party? What MORI’s data reveals

The pollsters MORI recently re-released some of their polling data from January and the question of whether or not people like a party paints a very different picture from the usual voting intention figures.

Overall it shows the Conservatives the least liked party, Labour (despite its voting intention poll ratings at the moment) only marginally in the positive and the Liberal Democrats in the negatives, but with a very healthy chunk of the population liking the party.

For the Conservatives and Labour these figures reinforce comments often made about them. The detoxification of the Conservative brand never fully succeeded and that Labour’s apparent popularity at the moment risks turning out to be similar to some of Labour’s periods of high poll ratings between 1979 and 1992, namely hiding deeper weaknesses that need tackling if the party isn’t to fall back when it comes to the crunch.

For the Liberal Democrats the figures reinforce the comments I’ve heard several people make around the country – which is that when they can persuade colleagues to get out canvassing the results are often far better than those reluctant colleagues expected.

For all the vitriol in some quarters, there are still many people who take a completely different view of the party.

It’s also notable that when I’ve chatted to Liberal Democrats about these poll figures in the last few days, those who are most surprised by them are by and large those who have done the least talking to the public on doorsteps in the last few weeks.

These figures are, of course, only part of the story. But they do hint towards local election results in May that vary greatly from one ward to another, particularly depending on how motivated local teams are to get out and talk to the public rather than judge the local political scene through prisms such as the Guardian letters page.

Here are the details of the MORI figures:

Like the party (whether like leader or not):

Conservative 37%
Labour 45%
Liberal Democrat 40%

Do not like the party (whether like leader or not):

Conservative 56%
Labour 42%
Liberal Democrat 51%

Net figures:

Conservative -19%
Labour +3%
Liberal Democrat -11%

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