New poll makes ugly reading for the Tories

By Ian Dunt

A new poll shows voters are only supporting the Conservatives due to a dislike of the government, rather than any substantive support for David Cameron’s party.

The poll, conducted for the Times by Populus, also revealed most voters do not believe the Tory party has changed.

There are also indications that Mr Cameron’s personal brand is stronger than that of the Tory party, compared to Gordon Brown who is equal to, or perhaps slightly lower than that of Labour.

Just 28 per cent of respondents said the party had changed much under Mr Cameron, while 68 per cent said the party’s performance had improved because “the Labour government has become so unpopular”.

Populus split the interviewees into two. One group was asked about Labour vs Tory spending cuts and the other about Mr Cameron vs Mr Brown’s approach to cuts. The results revealed that Mr Cameron is head of his party by between four and 11 points while Mr Brown remains at the same level, or lower.

The results correspond to much of the rhetoric around the Tory party conference in Manchester. Both Eric Pickles, party chairman, and Mr Cameron have urged delegates to prove they deserve the country’s vote, rather than just relying on Labour’s unpopularity to pick up disaffected voters.