"There were also a series of questions asking people to say which of a series of positive words (likeable, competent, good leader, caring trsutworthy, etc) applied to particular politicians… Cameron was seen as likeable by the highest proportion of voters of any of the 11 politicians included – 30% thought he was likeable, the next highest being Tony Blair on 21%. 14% of people thought Gordon Brown was likeable.
In contrast, Gordon Brown was seen as competent by more people than any of the other politicians listed – 34% thought he was competent, followed by Tony Blair on 22%. 19% thought Cameron was competent….
The public perceptions of the two men who will most likely fight out the next generation already seem to be settling into contrasting images: Cameron as likeable and in touch vs Brown, solid, trustworthy and competent."
I don’t know if these numbers were weighted for voting intention but they reveal a similar pattern to a News of the World/ ICM survey from two months ago. That survey (which drew some criticism for seemingly including a preponderance of Labour voters) also found the Chancellor to be more trustworthy but less presentable and less likely to buy a round of beers.
If Gordon Brown can maintain his reputation as competent (haven’t voters heard of the tax credits fiasco and his creative budget accounting?) he may be an antidote to Labour’s current difficulties. Brown won’t just want to present his own allegedly competent self to the electorate but other plain-dealing ministers will be promoted. My guess is that most Blairites will leave the Cabinet when their inspiration eventually goes. Alastair Darling, John Hutton, Des Browne, Hilary Benn and Alan Johnson will all be given much bigger roles.