Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Who is worrying the most?

The current polling situation remains fascinating for politico's like me (and boring to most members of the public!), but given the current crop of polls published since Gordon Brown took over I wondered which of the three leaders is sleeping best at night at the moment?

GORDON BROWN has at least got the luxury of a notable 'bounce' in his party's ratings since he became leader last week. Recent polls have given his party over 35% of the vote which is an improvement of around 4% on the recent numbers Labour have been getting; but in an election this wouldn't give them anything like a majority without the support of another party in Parliament. This is in marked contrast to the poll ratings for John Major when he took over from Mrs Thatcher in 1990- he was rewarded with a sharp increase of more than 10% which lasted long enough to secure a narrow victory in 1992. A shaky start in Westminster and some less than convincing press coverage must also be a concern to any Prime Minister even before they have had to make a single unpopular decision, and Gordon has had both this week.

DAVID CAMERON has had his first serious wobble since taking over the leadership; his personal poll rating and the numbers for the Conservatives have sagged markedly since the succession of Brown to No 10. Although activists (including me) and MP's have been saying this was expected it is nonethless disappointing and could become a source of concern if maintained, even more so if there are any more carefully choreographed defections as rumoured.

The most important thing for team Cameron is to hold their nerve. Labour (and perhaps Lib dems) must be hoping that the modernisation project becomes derailed and the Conservatives lapse back to the clutches of the reactionary right wingers; some in the party will undoubtably see this as their chance to do exactly that.

On the other hand if Cameron can come through unscathed he will have shown that he can successfully whether a storm and that the modernisation of the party is unstoppable and permanent.

MENZIES CAMPBELL - The bookies say that the first leader to be replaced will be Mr Campbell- but given that he is 65 already this hardly rates as a big surprise.

Ming has the triple whammy of seeing his personal poll rating, his party poll rating and his internal party support dropping like a stone.

Partly this is down to his bookish style which seems oddly out of tune with modern Britain and partly it is because of his halting and uncertain leadership of the party - news of stalled talks with Brwon over power sharing was badly recieved in many quarters of his group -but mostly it is because a revitalised Labour vote is costing the Lib dems support - this is not Mings fault and may yet blow over if the Brown gloss should prove as short-lived as we think.

Having said that several Lib Dems that I know are privately hoping a bad summer will persuade Ming to step down of his own accord -especially once it is clear there is no early election.

My bet is that Gordon has the biggest headache every morning, having finally achieved his lifetime ambition how can he avoid being 'Jim Callaghan Mk 11' ?


Big Dipper said...

Gordon Brown worrying every morning - why would he? More likely he has to pinch himself!

He is Prime Minister, he is in the lead in the polls half way through a third-term Government with a fresh new team untainted with past mistakes, like Iraq, which will soon be behind us.

And he will be a proper Labour leader with a real Labour programme which will be popular and fair; he will be tough on immigration and make sure that the British get British jobs; for instance and I expect to see a better deal for workers rights and trade unions, too.

He is certain to win a fourth term for Labour whenever he feels the need to go to the polls.

Meanwhile 'Toff-boy' Cameron is in freefall and will no doubt soon join the huge pile of other past leaders seen off by Labour - 'Grey' Major, Wee Willie Hague, 'the quiet man' and Count Dracula.

martin pell said...

Crikey! big dipper describing GB as a "proper Labour Leader with a real labour programme" is scary stuff. What are talking? Redistribution of Wealth? Even bigger taxation hikes, back to 99p in the £ eh? Re-nationalisation of industry to produce goods no-one wants? The Morris Ital back again? Or better still waiting for the BPO to install your telephone order 6 weeks previously?
Or perhaps he's just talking about the winter of discontent, inwhich case Marcus is right, he really will be Jim Callaghan MKII!!!

Windsor Tripehound said...

" ... He is certain to win a fourth term for Labour whenever he feels the need to go to the polls ... "

Sure he is. And I'm going to win the men's singles at Wimbledon.

Don't stop taking the sensible pills, whatever you do