Wednesday, June 11, 2008


More Poll Misery for Gordon on Eve of 42 Day Vote

[Flight to Belfast delayed and then cancelled so I have an extra day at home after all] Just when the Tories are having a spot of bother, poor old Gordon, obsessive about such things, must be cringing at the Peter Riddell article yesterday analysing the Times' recent Populus poll. This shows his popularity has plummeted to a level below that of the least successful party leader of modern times, Iain Duncan-Smith. The Labour party now commands only 25% compared with the Conservatives' 45%. With the crucial 42 Day vote coming up this evening, it appears Brown has been ringing up even those irreconcilable rebels who hate his guts, in a desperate effort to shore up numbers.

While the public seem to support his ostensibly 'tough on terrorism' strategy by a huge margin, the political class, and crucially, his own party, see the measure as illiberal and counterproductive. Brown's fate might lie in the hand of the Democratic Unionist MPs though David Davis, this morning on ther Today Programme, seemed to suggest he expected Gordon's measure to squeeze through. But it should be close and Gordon's nails had better stand by for some more serious knawing.

Worse for the long term is Riddell's analysis of Labour's position in the polls:

Since Mr Brown’s brief honeymoon last summer Labour’s rating has fallen by 13 points on the average of all published polls, with the Tories up ten points and the Liberal Democrats three points higher. Only three fifths of those who voted Labour in 2005 say that they would do so now, compared with 95 per cent of Tories staying loyal. Almost 20 per cent of those who voted Labour in 2005 say that they would vote Tory in an election now.

His conclusions are withering for Labour:

Of course, trends can change, but there is no precedent for a party in the dire predicament of Labour and Mr Brown now winning the next general election, although Mr Cameron still has to consolidate his gains.

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