A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Today's Populus Poll

Interesting poll in the Times - Con 36%, Lab 33%, LD 20% and with the detail showing mem favouring Brown over Cameron but women strongly favouring Cameron.

Two reactions:

a) the Tories are not going to get anywhere near winning if they can only manage a 3% lead at this stage in the electoral cycle (despite shiny new leader). Cameron is 11 months into his leadership. When Blair had been leader of the opposition for 11 months he was 19% ahead.

b) the potential defecit amongst women voters is another good argument that Labour needs a woman deputy leader.


Blogger Elephunt said...

the current gender gap is much more to do with Cameron's current 'touchy feely' image as opposed to Labour's current media obsession with getting 'tough' on everything.We need to focus on what we have done and are doing for the family and the NHS. Having a woman deputy leader won't pull in a single woman voter without the correct policy emphasis...

the poll simply confirms what we already know, the Tories are going nowhere at the height of government mid term unpopularity..

8:56 am, November 07, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

My view is we need to be both -"touchy feely" as you put it on health and family issues but tough on security and law & order. The same people that have kids and use the NHS are also worried about crime. We shouldn't tell people they have to make a choice between the 2 - that's the mistake we made in the past - and unfortunately found that fear almost always trumped hope. We already have broadly the right mix of policies we just need to shout a bit louder about the good stuff we are doing rather than obsessing about internal issues and the one or two things the party isn't united on.

9:10 am, November 07, 2006

Anonymous politicalcorrespondent said...

1. Comparisons with the mid-90s are unlikely to be informative. It's probably more useful to look at the equivalent points in the last two parliaments. You have to remember that polling methodology has changed considerably and also the voters may behave differently with a Labour Govt - e.g. one reason for the last-minute Tory recoveries before elections may have been because voters expected tax rises under Labour and couldn't quite bring themselves to vote for them in the final analysis.

2. There really is no evidence that female voters would think anything of having a female deputy leader. Leader maybe, but I don't think the deputy will make much difference - it's more about who you put up on TV and their style and so on, but I bet that women are just as put off by the likes of Pat Hewitt as men are. We would do better to look at our policies - we are performing disastrously (in polling terms) on the NHS which tends to be more important to female voters and women are also particularly opposed to our foreign policy.

However, I think we'd actually agree with you on crime - I've not seen any polling evidence that women want to hug a hoody any more than men do. And women are actually more hostile to immigration than men are, by quite some margin.

11:23 am, November 07, 2006

Blogger snowflake5 said...

I agree with elephunt - this is down to Labour sounding "tough" while Cameron keeps talking about "love".

Re the female deputy - it would be nice to have a female, but be aware that women don't like Blears very much. And Harman is just so ineffectual.

If you are looking for someone who appeals to women voters from the existing candidates, then it's Benn.

3:40 pm, November 07, 2006

Blogger Praguetory said...

One reaction. You say that the Tories aren't going to get anywhere near to winning with that lead. Whilst you are absolutely correct, with the Lab/Con result reversed this is exactly the result at the last election which you guys won by a mile in terms of seats. Are you happy with that indictment of our democratic system?

4:11 pm, November 07, 2006

Anonymous Andrea said...

"If you are looking for someone who appeals to women voters from the existing candidates, then it's Benn. "

but does Benn appeal to women becuase of the portolfio he holds (saving the third world and all..which appeal to women)? Even Short was (almost) likeable when she was there.
If so, maybe he can be less appealing away from those policy brief.

4:20 pm, November 07, 2006

Anonymous Nick said...

Snowflake - you make a series of assertions about what women voters think. Do you have any evidence for this or is it based entirely on your personal prejudice or what your friends think?

I suspect this whole debate is completely overblown - the average voter (male or female) won't really know any of the deputy leadership contenders and voting intentions probably won't be effected either way.

4:45 pm, November 07, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

PragueTory - I've been a very public campaigner for electoral reform for over 15 years so no, I'm not happy with the distortions produced by FPTP.

4:57 pm, November 07, 2006

Anonymous Jo Malik said...

This is why we should split the role. Jon Cruddas for DL and a (good) woman for DPM

11:52 pm, November 07, 2006


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