Up to the job? Cameron v Miliband

Anthony WellsHead of European Political and Social Research
July 18, 2012, 2:34 PM GMT+0

Analysis: Regular tracking data shows sharp decline in perceptions of PM as Miliband scores rise

Our regular tracking data on how people see the party leaders shows a sharp decline in perceptions of David Cameron since March's budget and and increase for Ed Miliband since Labour's success at the local elections in May. While David Cameron still enjoys a substantial lead over Miliband when people are asked who would make the best Prime Minister, the two men's ratings on how well they are currently doing in their jobs are now very similar, with Ed Miliband slightly ahead in last week's figures.

This week we asked some more detailed questions to see what people saw as the strengths and weaknesses of Cameron and Miliband, showing people a series of paired attributes such as strong or weak, trustworthy or untrustworthy, competent or incompetent, and asking which best applied to each man.

The large majority of ratings were negative, but David Cameron's best (or least worst) ratings were on being seen as competent (37%), strong (35%), up to the job (35%) and having a clear sense of purpose (35%). His worst ratings by far were on caring about ordinary people (just 22%) and being in touch (25% - with 67% seeing him as out of touch).

Ed Miliband's ratings were almost the exact opposite, his strongest attributes were being seen to care about ordinary people (46%) and being in touch (35%). However, his main weaknesses were on being strong (22%), decisive (21%) and being up to the job (22% - with 55% thinking he is not up to the job).

David Cameron’s is increasingly being seen as out of touch and uncaring towards ordinary people… but does better on being seen as a strong and competent leader. Ed Miliband is seen as much more in touch and caring, but has still not convinced people he is up to the job.

See all our political trackers, including public perception of the 'Party leaders' and 'image', here