Political boffin, keen fisherman looking forward to retirement.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Guardian ICM Poll – Brown and New Labour in trouble


The Guardian ICM poll today is very bad news for Gordon Brown and the Liberal Democrats. If Brown was leader of Labour the Tories would have a 13% gap – their largest lead since 1992. Labours rating puts them at the same level as their result in the 1983 General Election under Michael Foot.

This is desperately bad news for Brown personally. His only hope is to call a snap election after assuming power, probably at the end of the first 100 days after a policy blitz, and hope the honeymoon period will be enough to carry him through. The added advantage of such a strategy would be that all Cameron has done so far is talk about ambiguous ideas – the Tories have no coherent policy platform in place ready to face a General Election, much in the same way that the only pledges they are coming up with here in Wales are, “we’ll look at this, re-start that, review those”.

Its very high risk stuff. Will Brown who has waited for so long for the top job risk it all on assuming the Premiership. My view is that if he waits ‘till 2009/2010 the Tories will steam roll, he has to go early if he is to have any chance.

Far be it from me to offer any advice to the Labour party, but Gordon Brown is a dead duck leader in waiting. They have to find someone new, fresh and dynamic. Someone able to renew the party and hope the Cameron effect in Middle England runs out of steam and that they are able to exploit the clear contradictions that exist within the Tory party. The problem for Labour is that their talent pool isn’t exactly deep.

The other interesting finding in the poll is that the Lib Dems are on 17%. They are clearly being squeezed and losing votes to the Tories. It seems that the coup of Charles Kennedy as been an unmitigated failure. If they had not purged him, he would be the most experienced leader of all the three London parties once Blair stood down.

Looks like a very busy year for us here in Wales. After the Assembly elections in May I wouldn’t bet against an Autumn General Election if Brown is PM.

3 comments:

Che Grav-ara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Che Grav-ara said...

Interesting post Ted. One of the main things to note is that all the recent polls show Gordon Brown's popularity plummeting and the faith in the Labour party reaching rock bottom....yet our own First Minister carries on championing Brown's premiership. I don’t know if the Brown coronation is a result of a fear of change or the lack of serious politicians that have any credibility with the electorate that could stand against the Axe Man. Brown may have duped Rhodri Morgan, culling thousands of civil service jobs in Wales but still gaining his backing, but clearly Labours smoke and mirrors have run their course with the voters.

Ted Jones said...

I think your right Che Grav-ara. The problem for Labur is that by Cameron is creating a bottleneck on traditional tory ground. At the end of the day if you want tory policies as middle England do you may aswell vote Tory. Labour have to realign politics and break the centre right consensus if they are to have any hope. Politics works in cycles, and after twenty five years of Thatcherism under both the Tories and New Labour I think a more left leaning message could work. If Labour want to survive they have to reinvent themeselves as a libertarian left party (the sort of traditian that has always been central to Plaid's political thinking) rather than the failed centralist tendancies of their past and the current centre right New Labour. Either way Brown can not achieve this as he is a co author of the New Labour project.

Needless to say I fully agree with your assessment of the contradiction in Rhodri Morgan's argument - its totally politically incoherrent.

Basically I don't think Labour know whether they are coming or going.