Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Times Poll Overflows Gordon's Cup of Woe

Oh dear! Just when we thought, after uber Labour supporter Polly Toynbee's blast yesterday, that it couldn't get any worse for Gordon, the The Times reveals that, oh yes, it can. And it has. Its Populus poll today has 55% of Labour voters, wanting Brown to stand down in favour of a more electable alternative. After riding so high in last summer's polls, this must be the prime example of a prime minister crashing and burning in record time. I once interviewed Cecil Parkinson and he essayed his own 'Parkinson's Law' that voters will let you succeed but they will usually prevent you getting what you most want. Accordingly, Brown wanted to be a great prime minister; he has been denied. But, ultimately, he has only himself to blame. On political strategy(the election that never was), competence(the missing data disks, etc, etc) and poverty policy(the 10p tax band) his judgements and presentational skills have been lamentable.

Riddell notes that Brown and Darling have slumped in poll ratings of economic competence from 61% in September last year, to 30% now. On the brighter side- and God knows Gordon needs one- the surge for the Lib Dems means Cameron has to fight battles on two fronts with Vince Cable biting chunks out of his economic policies as well as the party competing for the same marginals ihn the south. Secondly, while Cameron and Osborne have progressed from 27% 'most trusted on the economy' last September to 40% now, Riddell argues much remains to be done:

The Tories need a firmer base if they are to win outright rather than merely deny Labour an absolute majority. As the Cameron camp accepts, the Tories have to do much more to give the public a reason to vote for them rather than against Labour.

As long as this continues to be the case, Gordon still has a chance to earn redemption. But time, and opportunities are fast running out.

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