TNS conducted a telephone poll between 23rd - 26th January 2015 on behalf of the BBC.

Data tables for all adults are available here

Data tables for Female only are available here

Summary of Results 

Over two fifths (44%)[1] of all adults think Theresa May would perform well as the leader of the Conservative Party, however significantly fewer think Yvette Cooper would perform well as the leader of the Labour Party (38%).

  • More men think Theresa May would perform badly as leader compared to women (33% vs. 20%), similarly more men than women think Yvette Cooper would perform badly as leader (26% vs. 19%)
  • Just under a third (30%) claim they ‘don’t know’ if Theresa May would perform well, with slightly more (40%) unsure of how well Yvette Cooper would perform, suggesting more are familiar with Theresa May and can imagine the type of leader she would be

For context with our regular polling on the 4 leaders and Boris Johnson, here are the results from our January poll (which was conducted online). The question is the same aside from the fact that 4 of the 5 below are actually current leaders. In that sense the Boris Johnson finding is the most comparable as this was asked in an identical way to our questions on Theresa May and Yvette Cooper.

  • David Cameron – performing well – 45%, performing badly – 41%
  • Ed Miliband – performing well – 24%, performing badly – 59%
  • Nick Clegg – performing well – 24% , performing badly – 56%
  • Nigel Farage – performing well – 49% , performing badly – 32%
  • Boris Johnson – would perform well – 41%, would perform badly – 35%

Parties and Leaders – Understanding the issues affecting people

The Labour party was rated as the party that best understands the issues faced by families, with one in five choosing them (20%),  significantly fewer think the Conservative party understands the issues facing them and their families (16%).

  • A similar proportion of women and men think the Labour party best understands the issues faced by them and their families (20% vs. 19%), but significantly more men think the Conservative Party understands the issues they and their families face, than women do (21% vs. 12%)
  • 1 in 4 women feel like none of the political parties understand the issues that worry them and their families

The majority of adults don’t think that any of the main party leaders understands what life is really like for families (45%).

  • 48% of women feel that none of the party leaders understand what life is like for them and their families
  • Just over one in ten believe David Cameron (13%) or Ed Milliband (11%) understand what life is really like, with significantly more men than women (15% vs. 10%) thinking David Cameron best understands what life is really like

Worries about the future

A similar proportion of adults are worried and not worried about the future, with slightly fewer (48%) saying they are worried and 50% saying they are not worried.

  • Significantly more women than men are worried about the future (52% vs. 43%)
  • Significantly more women aged 45+ are worried about the future compared to those aged 18-44 (58% vs. 45%)
  • 60% of women in the C2DE social grade categories are worried about the future
  • In social grade group E alone, 69% of women are worried about the future

Top areas of concern

The table below shows the overall top 5 areas of concern. 

Top 5 areas of concern

Overall

The NHS

55%

The cost of living, including buying or renting a home

40%

Immigration

30%

The economy (including the deficit and unemployment)

26%

The cost of caring for family

25%


This two tables below show the overall top 5 areas of concerns for men and women, in comparison. 

Top 5 areas of concern for women

Women

Men (for comparison)

The NHS

59%

50%

The cost of living, including buying or renting a home

40%

41%

The cost of caring for family

30%

20%

Immigration

29%

32%

Education

28%

22%

 

Top 5 areas of concern for men

Men

Women (for comparison)

The NHS

50%

59%

The cost of living, including buying or renting a home

41%

40%

Immigration

32%

29%

The economy

31%

21%

Pensions

24%

24% 

Significantly more women than men are concerned about the NHS and the cost of caring for their family. Education is also a greater concern for women than it is for men. On the other hand, whilst the NHS and the cost of living are also top concerns for men, men (31%) are significantly more concerned about the economy than women (21%).

Of those who said they were concerned about immigration, overall the majority were concerned about the impact it has on the welfare system (72%) and on the NHS (71%). There were no significant differences in the level of concern between the two gender groups for any of the areas immigration could have an impact on.

When it comes to concern about immigration:

  • There is a significant difference in concern about immigration between younger and older women. 19% of women aged 18-44 are concerned, compared to 37% of women aged 45+.
  • There is a difference by social grade on concern over immigration, although it is not a significant difference so should be treated with caution. 25% of ABC1 respondents are concerned about immigration, compared to 32% of C2DE respondents[2].
 

Voting Intentions

Women are significantly less certain than men on whether they will vote. 65% of men say they will definitely vote, compared to 55% of women.

  • Almost 1 in 4 women aged 18-34 (24%) are unlikely to vote in the election

Over a third of women (35%) don’t know who they will vote for in the general election, which is 10% higher than men (25%)

  • Women under 34 are the least certain about how they will vote, more than 1 in 4 don’t know

Nearly half (48%) of all women with children claimed they did not vote in the last election. A third of women without children claimed to have not voted in 2010.

Around six in ten men and women know definitely which party they will vote for.

  • Nearly 4 in 10 men and women may change their mind on who they plan to vote for



[1] A difference of 7% here is not significant due to smaller base size below 250, percentages at this level are subject to a margin of error of +/- 8%. 

[2] Figures for performing very well (10%) and fairly well (35%) were combined to give an overall figure of 44%. These numbers do match exactly due to rounding.

About TNS

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