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.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Well said Mr Hutton

Some useful comments from John Hutton and YouGov in the online version of the Guardian:

"Gordon Brown received support from a cabinet colleague today as a survey suggested that Labour's standing in the polls would be even worse under a new leader.

John Hutton, the business secretary, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning that Labour could win the next election with Brown in charge.He also insisted that Labour ministers should "stop sounding miserable about ourselves" and that they should concentrate their efforts on attacking the Tories.

Hutton's comments will be well received in Downing Street, because other cabinet ministers have not been defending the prime minister in public since David Miliband signalled that he was available as an alternative leadership candidate in an article published in the Guardian on Wednesday.

But, although Miliband is well regarded within the party and by commentators, a poll published today suggests that he would not help Labour's poll ratings if he were to replace Brown.

The YouGov survey, published in the Daily Telegraph, shows that, although Labour is deeply unpopular with Brown leading it, it would do worse under Miliband or any of Brown's other rivals."


Anonymous atropos said...

Exactly, Luke. Labour have nowhere to run to, and nowhere to hide from, the Electorate.

6:18 pm, August 01, 2008

Anonymous Alun said...

As far as that poll goes, summer polling is bad, asking hypotheticals is worse and asking questions likely to boil down to name recognition is worse still. The combination isn't merely worthless, it's potentially misleading.

But so what.

Anything that might stop certain idiotic MP's leaking to lobby hacks has to be a good thing even if it a) really, really doesn't look like it and b) is actually really, really dodgy.

6:33 pm, August 01, 2008

Anonymous hughes views said...

John Hutton seemed to be on good form on Today this morning, I only caught the last bit when he was talking about the PM, the next election and the weakness of the Tories' arguments. "Of course we can win with Gordon Brown..."

Also all Labour members, especially talkative MPs, should remember that in the old days 1st Aug used to mark the start of the silly season when desperate journos will use anything to fill their pages/airtime (With the increase in online news outlets and 24/7 news broadcasters, the season now alas seems to last from 1st Jan to 31st Dec).

7:23 pm, August 01, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke, are you the Chairman and sole member of the Gordon fan club?

I don't think this poll means very much. It's basically about name recognition. Most people don't really know anything about Johnson, Milliband etc..

I am a party member and a CLP secretary. I realise that with the economy as it is, it's going to be tough whoever is the leader. But it will be especially tough with someone who has shown that he hasn't got the personality, the political nous or the media skills to connect with the public. Gordon Brown's ratings are even lower than John Major's in the mid 1990's. People have made their minds up; they don't like him and they don't want to vote for him. It's that simple.

We are facing the loss of two-thirds of the PLP. That would put the Tories in power for 15-20 years; you can't pull back a 200 seat majority in one go or even two.

If we stick with what we've got, we have no chance. If we make a change, we might just have a fighting chance. I think we owe it to those people who would suffer most from a Tory government with a landslide majority.

I'm a party loyalist but slowly marching towards annihilation isn't my idea of loyalty.

8:26 pm, August 01, 2008

Blogger Newmania said...

Milliband is virtually unknown hence the apparent non effect of his leadership (in a frankly ridiculous Poll).
Speaking as a Conservative his article bothered me although a careful,reading made him actually left of Brown.
The next election is lost but at this rate it could be the end of Labour

9:41 pm, August 01, 2008

Blogger Alex Finnegan said...

This poll should not be taken too seriously Luke. If there was an election, a new leader would generate enormous amounts of publicity that would change the way the Party was perceived.

Changing leader is a risky strategy but David Miliband articulated what many of us think and feel. It was good to hear a Cabinet Minister actually taking the fight to the Tories and offering an alternative synthesis of the Government's woes than Gordon Browns.

Even so, I am not convinced that anyone could help Labour improve its current fortunes. In this sense, Miliband was right, it is not about personalities but what the Party actually stands for. We do need to be bolder and we do need a clearer vision. Brown has until Party conference to offer this.

9:59 pm, August 01, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

I don't think Labour can win now no matter what leader but by changing direction they have some chance of keeping important seats. If Brown continues the way he is he risks destroying his political party for good.

I don't think people will vote for Milliband and I personally think they are less likely to vote for Milliband than for Brown. He hasn't the maturity or the political stature to stand up against the giants in politics. Can't see how Milliband will cope against Cameron or Hague in PMs questions.

The problem Labour have now is funding as no one wants to support them financially. It looks too bad to be associated with a party with such poor ratings. It really is a slippery slope and the crisis is far worse than what the conservatives experienced under Major.

Funding makes a huge difference when it comes to a general election and this is the reason why unions are now talking to the conservatives as they know the next government will be a conservative one. The conservatives have an enormous cash chest ready to fight the next general election with some huge well known donors.

I really don't think that Labour have really seen the Tory machine in action yet. But I can tell you now they are going to fight just about every seat like they can win it. "No Labour seat will be safe" I heard Kenneth Clarke say the other day.

Labour will be lucky to keep 100 seats and might even be pushed as low as 50 according to a recent survey in the Guardian.

1:05 pm, August 02, 2008

Blogger Stephen said...

Gordon has to go, Labour are paying the price now for the consequences of his handling of our economy over the last ten years. But Miliband is a political nonentity, with an utterly undistinguished record in the Government.

Thankfully Harriet has one foot in Number 10 already; she'll sort you all out (and win the next election too).

12:52 pm, August 03, 2008

Anonymous Dirty Euro said...

Hutton is right.
In Ipos mori labour are up to 29% and this is after a terrible terrible few months. In reality the tories must be "bricking" themselves that they may lose the the biggest lead in polling history. The tories will be devastated when the lose this election. And they do not know who to attack now is it this PM or the someone else.

3:17 pm, August 03, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

But, Rich - the Tories have very few ideas which are significantly different from Labour, and those they do have I find unconvincing. I think there is little genuine enthusiasm for the Tories, more that voters are fed up with Labour.

1:03 am, August 05, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Mike, unfortunately that is not the case at all. Most people think the conservatives do offer them something different from Labour.

Labour can not win on the core vote alone they must have a % of the swing vote to win the next general election. When polled most non loyal voters are now convinced that a change is required and are not convinced by Labour or Brown. A recent BBC survey also showed that the conservatives have the largest % of the 18-25 vote which is very unusual for the conservatives party.

This isn't labour supporters staying away Mike this is a clear switch in politics.Labour are in big trouble and even a change in policy will not bring victory now. It might win back some loyal support but that's it.

6:11 pm, August 05, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Don't agree, Rich. The appeal of the Conservatives is simply that they are Not Labour. I don't think that most people have a clue what the Conservatives would offer instead but they are bored with Labour and underwhelmed by Brown.

A desire for change says nothing about the change itself but the desire for it. The move is away from Labour, rather than strong enthusiasm for Tory policies.

12:50 am, August 06, 2008

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