Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Labour and the Opinion Polls

This morning's Guardian has an ICM opinion poll which puts Labour on 32%, the Conservatives on 34% and the Liberal-Democrats on 24%. This is, apparently, Labour's lowest point in the polls since the 1987 General Election. On my reckoning, this would, if repeated in a General Election, produce a hung parliament with Labour as the largest party. It is a pretty remarkable showing for the Liberal-Democrats considering the mess they were in not so long ago (as a result of Kennedy's resignation, and the Oaten and Hughes revelations); but this probably has more to do with disillusionment with Labour than enthusiasm for Ming the Monotonous. The silver lining for Labour is that the Conservatives are still flatlining. A poor result in the May local elections and any further slippage in the polls will increase the pressure on Blair to go. My money is still on an early departure.


Blogger skipper said...

Agree Tories ahould be doing much better and that Lib Dems are inheriting the disillusion with Blair dividend. A small swing would produce a hung parliament but Dave still needs one at least 5-6 points to gain an overall majority-maybe more. So they have major problems even after somehow lurching back onto the road to power. Blair should take note of the longevity of disillusion- it takes maybe a couple of decades to exorcise it and even then it can still make comebacks.
As you know Politaholic, I don't think TB will go soon, short of some extraordinary event. I'm still in the 2008-9 camp until signs to the contrary. Febrile atmospheres of rebellion and 'he's just got to go soon' seep away if the person concerned ignores it. Look at Wilson in the late sixties or even Major from 1992 onwards.

3:19 pm  
Blogger politaholic said...

You may well be right, Skipper, about the timing of Blair's exit. Most commentators do seem to favour 2008-2009; I'm taking a somewhat eccentric view, I know. The difference from Wilson/Major is, I think, that Blair has pre-announced his departure, and there is an obvious successor. Of course, it is actually constitutionally very difficult to remove a Labour PM from the leadership and this may be the crucial factor; but I just still have a very unscientific feeling in my bones that a stalking-horse challenge in the autumn could precipitate things. We will know soon enough; if I'm wrong expect a fullsome acknowledgement of same.

5:34 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

Can you imagine what the polls will be saying by the end of the week? I can't wait to see them this weekend.

But we can't take next weeks council results for granted. These will most likely be based on local issues and strong local candidates that have served their constituents well.

But I predict that the turnout will be low, the constant dishonesty surrounding policits is turning people off. Also, they are probably getting confused about what each party stands for, but stand by their beliefs of old, which is a belief the Tories today are trying to move away from.

7:09 pm  
Blogger Hughes Views said...

I hope Mr Blair sticks to his pledge and hangs on until a year or so before the next general election (which I predict will be on 11/6/9). Then he can take all the flak for the hassle around the reforms and the new man will still have the hint of newness about him. This will contrast with old boys Cameron (in the increasingly unlikely event that he lasts that long!) and Ming (who made a fool of himself yet again at PMQs today)..........

9:06 pm  

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