Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Polls Puncture Plotters' Plans?

Back in August 2006 a poll was published showing Conservatives at 40% while Labour languished at 31%; this then startling statistic was enough to spark the 'autumn coup' by Brownites against Tony Blair. The coup did not topple Blair, of course, but it did secure his agreement to go within a year. The polls now are so much worse yet I'd venture that they do not encourage plotters as much as that of two years ago. Yesterday we read in the Sunday Times that Tories were on 45%, Labour on 25% and Lib Dems on 18%.

Today in The Guardian, their poll shows figures of 44-29-19: a slightly lower lead for Cameron but scarcely less depressing for Gordon who must be returning from his hols more miserable- and boy, does he do miserable- than when he left for Suffolk, a few weeks back. However, if his chief obsession is power and hanging onto it- and I'm fairly sure it is- he must be cheered by some other aspects of these polls.

Most obviously, he must be pleased that in the ST poll, when respondents were asked 'Would David Miliband make a better prime minister than Gordon Brown?' they answered, 21% for David and 38% for Gordon, with a bigger proportion opting for the latter among Labour voters. The Guardian poll also shows the public have not yet warmed to Miliband. He edges Gordon on 'wider appeal'and 'looks to the future' but is well beaten in turn on 'more likely to spin' and 'more style than substance'. However, in all six questions asked the sum of the 'don't knows' and the 'neithers' exceeds half of the sample.

So Brown might gain some marginal comfort from such results but it's clear, voters find Miliband an unknown quantity. But Brown's broader comfort must be derived from the fact that, unlike the situation inn August 2006 when Gordon was pulling the strings behind Tom Watson and others, there is no clear successor to him. This fact will percolate through the ranks of delegates to the Manchester conference during the next week or so. The plotters may decide to show their hands but, more likely, I'd guess, is that they'll heave one more weary sigh and realise, in the absence of an obvious Dauphin who can command popular support, they are stuck with Gordon till 2010, meltdown or no meltdown.

I'm sure Labour can pick a new winner if they try. (Or not.)
I also think why would you want to lead the party if we are set for a massive defeat no matter who the leader is. Heseltine was the most intelligent tory he manouvered to become deputy PM rather than PM. As he knew leading the party to a certain defeat would just create a black mark for his legacy if i was milliband ot straw i would leave the current leader in place and maouvre to be deputy pm or chancellor.
Sorry to disagreee with you Dirty Euro but Hezza was always obsessed with becoming PM. Accepting DPM was only a consolation prize after he reealised his heart condition would not allow him to go for the toip job.
Good point but I still think he was better off being deputy. Only a mug would want to be the worst PM, rather than a chancellor.
Surely this is a little academic, the Labour government are destined, after the next elections, for a decade or two in the wilderness, whilst the rest of us pay for their legacy with higher taxes and less rights.
In 2010 we are talking about the scale of the defeat, will it be an utter collapse-possibly worse than 1983, or just a working Tory majority. The fact is Brown has shown himself to be politically inept, all his incentives and 'ideas' turn to ash .The latest "will he,won't he" saga involving help to poorer families with rocketing fuel bills has done it for me I'm afraid.If Labour is about anything it's about protecting the less well off in times of real difficulty.Oddly enough Brown seems willing to help people buy new homes and is willing to hand money back to people via inheritance tax windfalls but when it comes to severe hardship that's another matter.The 10p tax disaster is now shown in it's true light, more wicked act of wealth distribution away from the working poor.

I was glad Blair went but by God I'll be celebrating when this self serving prat goes.Incidentally,Tom Watson's blog has been 'politics free' for some time now .There's a surprise.
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