London, Feb. 28: Most people no longer have faith in Tony Blair or his government, according to YouGov’s latest monthly survey for The Telegraph.
They both have their lowest ratings since Labour came to power nearly six years ago. Only a third of voters are satisfied with Blair as Prime Minister and only a third approve of the government’s record to date. Only a third think Blair and his colleagues have proved honest and trustworthy.
The present government is not yet the object of positive derision John Major’s became but it no longer enjoys general respect. The figures in the main panel speak for themselves. The government’s approval rating stands at only 31 per cent, its integrity rating at only 30 per cent. Only 36 per cent now say Blair would make the best Prime Minister. In the past, that figure sometimes exceeded 60 per cent. In addition, people were asked if they were satisfied with Blair’s performance in office. Only 34 per cent were satisfied.
No fewer than 64 per cent, including nearly a third of Labour’s own supporters, say their opinion of the government has “gone down over the past two or three years”. That 64 per cent was then asked to rate factors that may have influenced their thinking.
The findings are rich in irony. Labour’s 1997 election manifesto proclaimed that the party’s mission was “to rebuild [a] bond of trust between government and the people” and said Labour in power would make “telling the truth” a priority.
Yet 64 per cent of those whose opinion of the government has gone down also say a very important factor has been that ministers have “too often misled the public and told too many lies”. This figure is larger than the number citing the government’s warlike Iraq policy and dwarfs the proportions citing tax increases and “Thatcherite” policies.