Poll shows Labour's popularity is unaffected by resignation drama

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David Blunkett's resignation had no effect on Labour's popularity, according to this month's IoS poll. Labour still leads the Conservatives by five percentage points. Comparing interviews before and after the news of Mr Blunkett's departure broke, Labour's standing went up by two points, although the change was not statistically significant.

Before Mr Blunkett went, 65 per cent of the public agreed that "if he is found to have misused his position to help his lover's nanny get a visa to stay in Britain, he should resign", and 27 per cent disagreed. After he had gone, 52 per cent agreed that he had been right to do so and 39 per cent disagreed. Young people aged 18 to 24 were more censorious: 64 per cent agreed that he was right to resign.

The poll found that more people agreed (45 per cent) than disagreed (42 per cent) that "it was unbecoming of the Home Secretary to use the courts to try to force Kimberly Quinn to give him access to her child".

But, asked whether having an affair with a married woman showed that Mr Blunkett "could not be trusted as a government minister", 63 per cent disagreed and only 30 per cent agreed. And the public approved overwhelmingly of Mr Blunkett for "wanting to take responsibility for a child he says he has fathered": 82 per cent agreed he had "set a good example" in this respect; 11 per cent disagreed.

CommunicateResearch interviewed a random sample of 1,004 adults by telephone between 14 and 16 December, 403 of them before David Blunkett's resignation. The results have been weighted to be representative of all adults. CommunicateResearch is a member of the British Polling Council. Full details at www.communicateresearch.com