POLITICS

HuffPost UK Poll Exclusive: Still 'Nasty'? Just 29% Of Voters Think Conservative Party Has 'Changed' Under David Cameron

08/10/2015 13:24 BST | Updated 08/10/2015 14:59 BST

Less than one-in-three people believe David Cameron when he claimed the Conservative Party has "changed" under his leadership, a snap The Huffington Post UK and Survation poll has revealed.

Some commentators yesterday even suggested the Prime Minister's speech to the Conservative party conference was "left-wing" as he said tackling inequality and discrimination would be priorities in his second and final term.

But just 29% of those polled last night agreed he has "changed" the party since his first keynote conference speech in 2005. Some 40% disagreed and 31% didn't know. Home Secretary Theresa May once said the Tory party had to shake its "nasty party" image.

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David Cameron said yesterday: "Ten years ago, I stood on a stage just like this one and said if we changed our party we could change our country. We’ve done that – together."

His speech, which included sections praising immigration and mapping out his vision for social reform, was in contrast to Mrs May warning about mass migration undermining British "cohesion" and Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, suggesting benefit claimants needed a stronger work ethic.

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The poll also showed David Cameron has some way to go to convince voters over a series of other ambitions outlined in his Manchester address.

The leadership has trumpeted the Conservatives as the "party of working people", a move to seize the centre ground that is being underlined as Jeremy Corbyn looks set to move Labour to the left.

But 39% disagree with the claim - rising to 66% among Labour voters. Of all voters, 36% agree and 25% don't know.

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Voters also questioned whether he will get the deal with European leaders over blocking "ever closer union", the only "red line" mapped out in the speech ahead of the referendum on Britain's membership of the EU.

Asked whether he would be successful in getting a good deal for Britain in his upcoming renegotiation, 36% disagreed and just 27% agreed. Tellingly, less than half of Tory voters thought he would be successful.

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More positive for the PM was the response to questions around housing, which formed the centre-piece of his policy promises in the speech.

Some 44% agreed the Tories are the party of home ownership against 25% who disagreed and 31% who didn't know.

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And he got broad support for a crackdown on Muslim Madrasas that preach hate, with 62% of those surveyed agreeing.

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As reported earlier, the poll also revealed 38% of all people surveyed agreed with Mr Cameron's claim that Mr Corbyn holds a “security-threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating" ideology, while 31% disagreed and 31% didn't know.

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READ ALSO FROM DAVID CAMERON'S SPEECH

Speech in full

'Great British Take-Off': David Cameron Outlines His Vision For A 'Greater Britain' By Confronting Extremism, Housing Crisis And Jeremy Corbyn

Michael Gove Accuses Andrew Neil Of 'Showboating' In Feisty TV Exchange

David Cameron Praises Ethnic Minority Ministers In Sharp Contrast To Theresa May's Anti-Immigration Rhetoric

David Cameron: We Will Send In Experts To Take Over Failing Social Services Departments

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