with 57% thinking him an asset against 23% thinking him a liability, a net rating of +34. All party’s voters thought Kennedy an asset to the Lib Dems, though Conservative voters were the least impressed. Second was Michael Howard, with a net rating of +10. Opinions of Howard were more partisan, Conservatives thought him an asset (+61), but a majority of Labour voters though him a liability (net rating -24), and he had a negative rating amongst Lib Dem voters (-8). The groups who were most impressed by Howard were the over 65s and, perhaps more surprisingly, the under 25s. Tony Blair received the lowest ratings – 45% thought him an asset, but 43% thought him a liability. There was strong approval amongst Labour voters (+64), but strongly negative opinions amongst Lib Dems (-14) and Conservatives (-41).
The same question was asked about a number of other Labour politicans. Gordon Brown predictably high the highest ratings, with 63% of people considering him an asset and only 22% thinking him a liability. Jack Straw was also seen in a positive light with a rating of +15. John Prescott was regarded as a liability by 47% of people, a negative rating of -13, although Labour voters continued to see him as an asset (considering he is widely seen as providing working class credibility to New Labour, people in social classes DE weren’t any more impressed with him than other people. C2s however were the least negative about him).
Most other members of the cabinet elicited no strong responses, with around half the respondents saying they didn’t know if they were an asset or not. Most people did have opinions on David Blunkett, but they were evenly split between whether he was an asset or a liability. Considering the timing of the survey, it isn’t much of a surprise to find that the politican with the lowest ratings in the survey was Ken Livingstone, who 49% of people thought was a liability.
Kennedy’s baby due in April won’t do him any harm…