Last month David Willetts enjoyed a net satisfaction rating of +37%. 61% were satisfied and 24% dissatisfied. In the sharpest change since the beginning of the ConservativeHome monthly survey for any individual shadow cabinet member, David Willetts’ net rating has deteriorated by more than sixty points to a net rating of –24%. Just 36% of Tory members are satisfied with the Shadow Education Secretary and 60% are dissatisfied (16% fairly dissatisfied and 44% very dissatisfied).
David Cameron’s own satisfaction rating was +49% at the end of April. 74% of Tory members were satisfied with his performance and 25% dissatisfied. 61% are now satisfied and 39% dissatisfied – a net satisfaction rating of +22%. The previous low point for David Cameron was in November 2006 when 67% were satisfied and 32% dissatisfied.
Despite this finding 66% of Tory members think it likely that David Cameron will be Prime Minister after the next General Election.
Editor’s comment: "My guess is that this is a temporary shift in satisfaction levels. The heat of the grammar schools row has caused these very sharp shifts in sentiment but they should heal in time as the focus (hopefully) shifts back to Conservative policies less likely to antagonise grassroots members. Conservative Party members are probably using this poll to communicate their disappointment to the party leadership – disappointment not just at the policy itself but the way in which the row has been allowed to get out of control. Very few members want a different leader. Most members appreciate David Cameron’s success at attracting moderate voters back to the Tory cause. What members would like, however, is a leader who listens a little more to their concerns and spends more time maintaining the breadth of the conservative coalition – from the centre ground and through to the centre right. David Cameron like any leader deserves loyalty from members but he should remember that it is not his party to do with as he wishes. The grassroots members are stakeholders in the party – who give to the party without expectation of office. They are not deluded. Their concerns are not pointless. They deserve a little more respect.”
1,294 members took this month’s survey. It opened on 31st May and closed on 3rd June. More than 90% of the respondents to this survey took last month’s survey – pointing to a clear change of mind from existing respondents to the ConservativeHome survey rather than any change in population.