Thursday, December 16, 2010


Latest Poll Grim for Lib Dems and Labour

Everyone has been saying Nick Clegg and his party will pay a huge political price for its support for the Tories and we now begin to see its extent. The latest Ipsos Mori poll, published in The Guardian yesterday showed Labour on 39%(no change), Conservatives on 38% (up 2) and the Lib Dems on 11% (three down). Some polls have placed the junior coalition partner even lower, but 11% is bad enough, when it is remembered their election share was more than twice that figure. Significant too that the Tories seem to have gained what their partners have lost since the last poll was taken.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne comments on sinking ratings as follows:

"I've always thought we would have two years of immense unpopularity. I don't know any government anywhere in the world that is cutting the deficit without becoming more unpopular."

So all this was expected? I doubt it and suspect the party leaders are getting really worried. Along with Labour's leading lights too as Ed Miliband seems not to be cutting it just yet. His approval rating is a miserly +1: only Foot, Hague and Clegg have done as badly after their first three months; even Duncan Smith and Michael Howard did better. Worse,only 26% thought Ed a 'capable leader'; 64% thought him 'inexperienced'; and 35% thought him 'out of touch' with ordinary people. It won't be long at this rate until the old familiar plots are formulated to find someone else. As the only likely usurper is Ede's brother David, I suspect he's safe until the summer at least.

Moreover, we are still in early days- the next election, if things run according to the coalition plan is over four years away and reputations, both party and individual, can soar and plummet a great deal by then. But it's ironic that the party which failed to deliver its expected easy victory and was consequently forced into a coalition, is almost doing as well as if they had achieved that easy, predicted victory.

'is almost doing as well as if they had achieved that easy, predicted victory.'

I'd say they are doing better. Imagine if the students and trades unions had turned their fire on the Conservatives instead of the LDs. They could be right back down on 29% and falling.

instead, despite a lot of negative press, despite heavy cuts in spending, despite ongoing uncertainty, despite a VAT rise, they ride high in the polls and Labour have at best an artificial bubble which their leader seems to be unable to really capitalise on and build an alternative powerbase.

I really think it has been an error of tactics to go so hard for the LDs. Yes, many in Labour and on the left feel they have been taken for a ride - but honestly, they took themselves for a ride. They didn't believe Clegg when he said he would negotiate with the party who got most votes - so they shafted themselves. In reality, unless AV is introduced, Labour have to beat the Tories at the next election - and unless they realize that soon and direct their fire accordingly, they will be in real trouble come 2015.
Yes, a 10% increase rise in the opinion polls since the general election result, local government elections showing Labour winning seats we haven't held for decades and Lib Dem votes in double figures (votes, not percentages), soaring membership figures (33% increase in membership in my own Ward in 5 months)... bloody hell, you're right, things are looking grim.
Incidentally, Skipper, Miliband hasn't been leader for 3 months. His Shadow Cabinet wasn't formed until 8 October, and with the conference season and paternity leave the bloke has barely had time to get his feet under the table before the sniping starts. He's got to be in front after 5 years, not five weeks. When Hague, IDS, and Howard were opposition leaders Blair was 10-15 points ahead in the opinion polls... not neck and neck.
Not sure why your comment published twice but point maybe needed emphasizing. I agree, it's very early days and Ed has not had a genuine chance to show what he can do. But politics being what it is Bob, he'll have to put up with some sniping form all kinds of directions.
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