Clegg recovers his left-of-centre image

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Meanwhile, voters see Cameron as having moved to the right since the last general election

The chart below shows how perceptions of the party leaders have changed over time.

When Cameron became leader of the Conservatives in 2005, he was perceived as more centrist than his predecessors but, by the time of the 2010 election, he was seen to have moved a little to the right – with another small adjustment to the right as we entered the current election phase.

Nick Clegg was perceived as shifting to the right when he entered coalition, but since then has gradually recovered his left-of-centre image. Tony Blair was seen as slightly right-of-centre, Gordon Brown appeared as a move to the left, then Miliband was seen as a further leftward drift – nudging back to the centre over most of his five years as leader and just recently tacking slightly left again.

Taken together, what does the chart show? That over 12 years the mainstream of British politics has broadened a little, with a crossover between Labour and the Lib Dems.

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