Blair Government is sleazy - poll

Nearly half the electorate believe the New Labour Government is "sleazy", an opinion poll suggested today.

The poll, for ITN's Powerhouse programme on Channel 4, found that 49% of those asked thought that Labour now "give the impression of being very sleazy and disreputable."

In March 1997, two months before they were elected, only 19% of voters held that view of Tony Blair's Labour Party.

In contrast the Conservatives, whose collective image was so tainted by sleaze allegations in the run-up to the last election, have improved their standing significantly.

Whereas in 1997 some 63% of the public thought the Tories were sleazy, that figure has now dropped to 47%.

The NOP poll, which surveyed 1,000 people across the country, was conducted over the weekend, when the news agenda was dominated by the fallout from the Hinduja passport affair.

Whereas in 1997 some 73% of those questioned for a Gallup poll disagreed with the suggestion that Labour appeared sleazy, that figure now has dropped to 43%.

And while in 1997 only 32% of those questioned disagreed with the suggestion that the Tories appeared sleazy, that figure now has risen to 45%.

The poll also found that 29% of Tory supporters and 28% of Labour supporters think their own parties look sleazy.

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