Friday, November 30, 2007


Polls Provide Dark Skies for Brown as November Ends

It's hard to resist the conclusion's drawn by Tony King in today's Daily Telegraph, that 'Brown's government is in freefall'
One has to go back to the last days of the late-1970s Callaghan administration or the late-1990s Major administration to find any parallel. Seldom, if ever, can a Government's reputation have fallen so far so fast. As recently as last July, the first full month of Gordon Brown's premiership, Labour enjoyed a nine-point lead over the Tories. Two months ago Labour's lead was still 11 points. Now it is the Conservatives who are 11 points ahead. The Tories now have their largest lead over Labour since Margaret Thatcher's heyday in 1988.

And the devil really is in the detail. Brown's personal rating is only 23%, lower than Blair's ever was. 60% of respondents say the government 'gives the impression of being sleazy and disreputable'-evidence that the recent donation scandal is having a serious effect. As for the senior ministers, the figures show a breath-taking loss of confidence in the likes of Darling and Browne and support for Miliband and Jacqui Smith is at best lukewarm.

In just about every major area of government- including the NHS, defence, criminal justice and immigration and asylum - voters in this poll give the government a massive thumbs down. And on the economy, 64% are either 'very worried' or 'somewhat worried' that we are in for a recession with a further big majority having little or no confidence in the government to deal with it. There's time enough still for Gordon to climb out of this hole and his majority is sound enough, but it's proving to be a monster hole and, on current trends, Labour has not yet even stopped digging.

Don't despair! At this point in the run up to the 1997 election (ie 17 months ahead and in the real dog days of the Major government) Labour had a 30% lead in the polls according to the historical data on
Not very comforting Hughesy... Major was drubbed at the election too.
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