Asked to set politics aside, more people say they like David Cameron than any party leader – but among young people Sturgeon and Miliband do better
David Cameron is widely considered to have won last night’s Question Time election special. Making the most of a format the leader is known to excel in, he appeared strong and confident, urging voters to let him ‘finish the job’ and avoiding, if not allaying, questions about welfare cuts. Ed Miliband faced a tough set of questions from the audience and was unsteadied when defending Labour’s spending record, while Nick Clegg was asked straight away about broken promises on tuition fees.
New YouGov research reveals that, setting political disagreements aside, David Cameron is the most liked leader (44%) by the British public. All of the leaders’ net scores are in negative territory, but David Cameron’s is the lowest (-4).
Ed Miliband’s score (-14) is slightly lower than Nick Clegg’s and Natalie Bennett’s (both -11), while Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne wood stand at -7 and -6 respectively.
Young people are altogether more generous to the left-wing politicians, giving them all positive scores. In terms of likes, Ed Miliband scores second highest (45%, behind Nicola Sturgeon’s 48%), but then more young people also dislike him compared to the other left-wing leaders.
Nick Clegg, who enjoyed a boost in support from young people and students in 2010, has the third lowest score among 18-24s, on -20, behind David Cameron’s -15.
Post-election deals were perhaps the main theme in last night’s interviews. Ed Miliband and David Cameron sounded remarkably alike, as they both insisted a majority was possible and refused to admit that anything short of one would result in sacrificing manifesto commitments to supporting parties. Ed Miliband appeared to toughen his position on the SNP, however, claiming he was “not going to have a Labour government if it means deals or coalitions with the SNP”.