Reputation Survey: Labour wins conference contest

The three main political parties largely failed to sway public opinion during their party conferences, but Labour's reputation was the most improved.

Unimpressed: OnePoll's word cloud reveals the public's view of party conferences
Unimpressed: OnePoll's word cloud reveals the public's view of party conferences

The Labour Party and its leader Ed Miliband's reputation benefited the most from their performance during party conference season, according to the latest PRWeek/OnePoll survey.

Although the majority of respondents said their opinions of the three major parties had not changed as a result of the conferences, 17 per cent said their opinion of Miliband had improved. This was much higher than those who had a more positive view of David Cameron (nine per cent) and Nick Clegg (7.5 per cent).

Miliband was the only leader to impress more people than he put off, with Clegg faring the worst of the three leaders, negatively affecting the opinions of 19 per cent.

Labour was the only party to see a net boost in opinion - 16 per cent thought better of it compared with 12 per cent who had a more negative view. Labour was also perceived as being the most united party, with 27 per cent. Only seven per cent felt the same about the Liberal Democrats.

Forty-eight per cent of respondents said they were interested in what went on at the party conferences, and 45 per cent rejected the idea of scrapping them - 16 percentage points more than those who wanted to scrap them.

Despite half of people saying conferences were not an effective way to communicate with the public, some messages did get through. When asked to match the conference phrase to the party, the majority of those who picked a party (i.e. aside from those who did not know) were correct.

Survey of 2,000 members of the public conducted by global research agency OnePoll

HOW I SEE IT

GEORGE MCGREGOR, MD, INTEREL CONSULTING UK

It's clear from the poll that Ed Miliband finished the conference season ahead by a nose, with David Cameron just behind.

Despite the popular belief that political conferences are on the decline, it is refreshing that almost half the country was interested in what actually happened at them.

But when it came to the electorate identifying which phrases resonated, the largest single category across the survey was 'don't know'. This speaks volumes about the wider impact of the three leaders' main messages: 'I'm sorry', 'one nation' and 'aspiration nation'.

Conference remains vital for the leaders to define themselves. But they speak less and less to the nation over the heads of delegates and more over the shoulders of the commentariat.

And is it any wonder voters think the conferences are inward-looking and not open enough when they are held in anonymous conference centres behind security cordons?

Miliband's speech - 23% of respondents said Ed Miliband delivered the best speech

HOW DID THE RECENT CONFERENCES CHANGE YOUR OPINION OF THE PARTY LEADERS?

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.