Friday, May 09, 2008

I Hate To Tell Gordon This, But...


Gordon Brown's spin doctors are going round the lobby telling journalists that the Sun's YouGov poll (you know, the one showing Labour 26 points behind) could be worse. They are trying to shore up the Dear Leader's position by highlighting the part of the poll which shows Labour would do worse under any alternative leader.

There's only one problem with that. It's not true. Anyone who knows anything about polling knows that if you ask people a question about people they have probably not heard of you won't get a reliable answer. The proof of this is David Cameron. When pollsters asked people at the beginning of the contest if they were more likely to vote Tory under David Cameron he scored an infintessimal amount. So the likes of James Purnell and Andy Burnham can draw some solace from that, while Gordon Brown certainly can not.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ed Balls as the leader of a rump Labour Party?

The voters say: "So what?"

simon said...

Bloody hell, is that how BAD it's become for Labour- James Purnell & Andy Burnham mentioned as potential leaders???!!! Burnham- as far as i'm concerned- is a nice bit of totty, but she uses WAY too much mascara. Couldn't Harriet give him a few tips?

Anonymous said...

Still, Ed Balls has been remarkably quiet over the past week. At least other had the 'Balls' to face the music.

Anonymous said...

Saw Purnell on ITV earlier on. He was putting on the now usual 'kick the sick' attitude that Labour hopes will get it some BNP votes - yes, they are that desperate.

Straw would be better than Brown.

Broon's Talking Bawgie said...

I've noticed that about Burnham too. He looks like Steve Strange. What a party of weirdoes they are.

Richard Nabavi said...

Yes, this is almost totally meaningless (except maybe the negative views on Harriet Harman and Ed Balls). For example, I doubt whether most voters have much idea who James Purnell is. And even MPs who know and work with their colleagues for years often have little real idea how a new leader would actually turn out in practice.

In all, I think they'll stick with Brown. There's no clear alternative, and the last thing they want is a long drawn-out leadership battle, which would totally torpedo the only message they've got, which is 'continuity' and building on what they portray as their successes. Risible though this is, it's the only strategy available to them after 11 years in power and the 'smooth transition' from Brown to Blair - remember that?

And let's not get too excited about the poll as a whole. It's a long time to the general election (unless Brown flips completely, which I doubt). It's not won until those votes are safely in the ballot boxes.

Blue Eyes said...

I think Gordon Brown is the best Prime Minister we've ever had.

Travis Bickle said...

Blue Eyes,

Not quite, but very probably the second best Prime Minister we've had in the 21st Century.

Anonymous said...

Can Gordon Brown please go now, it really is getting too painful to watch. I couldn't help but feel sorry for him after watching him on This morning... And I've been campaigning against him for months... Slow and painful is never good, like a waxing strip quick with a slight "ouch". Smooth and healthy thereafter. Please Gordon, just take the high road. You're tried your best, you held your ground, floods and all. Some things are just not meant to be, just go or please stop with the tv appearances, we're in enough pain as it is.

Richard Nabavi said...

11.18am: I meant "'smooth transition' from Blair to Brown", of course...

cassander said...

I believe the Labour party is now for all practical purposes extinct. The next time a Conservative government loses a General Election - sometime in the 2020's - it will be to the LibDems (or whatever they are calling themselves then). There will of course be a die-hard remnant of people calling themselves Labour, but they will be much like Arthur Scargill now - unrecognised by most and just a painful memory for those who do know who they are.

In fact, the Labour party actually became extinct towards the end of the 1980's, together with all other manifestations of socialism - it was a 20th century phenomenon. Certainly, Tony Blair was able to seize upon the Labour brand and turn the party into a machine for getting himself and his best friends to the top of the greasy pole. But it was no longer the real Labour party - New Labour was only ever the Tony Blair Fan Club.

With Tony now gone, Labour is rapidly crumbling away - it is reverting to its natural trend. Look at membership levels, not to speak of the state of its finances.

Couldn't somebody revive it again, like Blair did? No, because now there is no longer any value in the Labour brand - all of that value has been sucked out and a crumpled shell is all that remains.

So my prediction is British politics will return to a two-party format much like it was at the beginning of the 20th century - and the two parties competing will be the same as they were then. In the long run, Labour was just another unhappy reflection of a troubled century.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely hilarious !!!!!!!!!

You don't get it Gordon ! You've lost mate. Give it up and just go .......NOW !

Nick said...

A truly excellent post fron cassander - says it all really. Labour = a temporary aberration. Back to normal now methinks.

Anonymous said...

On those figures, the Conservatives would have a majority in the House of Commons of 288! Seats like Glasgow North would go Tory!

Tony Blair must be pissing himself laughing!

Rog said...

I think they'll hang on to Gorgon for a while longer, but their polling will continue to slowly drop. Finally, as we saw last week, even their core tribal voters have begun to finally see the light (about bloody time too).

There is no good news on the horizon:
Economy, crime, debt, repossessions, food prices, strikes, NHS, fuel prices, taxation, inflation, etc.

Eventually NuLab's nerve will break, and Gorgon will be forcibly stepped down (or carried off) in favour of probably Straw.

And they're bankrupt.

Good-bye Labour. History won't be kind.

Blue Eyes said...

Does this mean we can finally recover from the effects of War Socialism and become Great Britain once more?

bergen said...

Whilst none of us is likely to live to know the final verdict,Brown has staked an early claim to be the worst Prime Minister of the 21 st century.

God help our children if he doesn't win it.

Broon's Talking Bawgie said...

Cassander has it right I think. I would add to those remarks, to say that IMO Labour's post-GE problem is going to be far, far worse than the Conservatives' post-1997.

As well as losing all their sources of direct finance (sale of peerages, government money laundered through the unions), indirect support (abuse of the civil service, of quango jobs, etc), of free propaganda (the BBC), of rigged votes (Scottish MPs, ghosts voting postally - both sure to be ended), and of local activists (already wiped out at the grassroots), they face something the Conservatives never did, which is a rival party on the same political wing.

There was never a chance the Conservatives would disappear, but there is every chance Labour will.

How I think it will play out is that Labour MPs will first ally in Parliament with the LibDems and will then individually desert, leaving the party to fold and bilking its "lenders" (good!)

There will then be three or four terms of Conservative hegemony before the left regroups into something plausible (and enough time has elapsed for the voters to forget all the lies and bogie-eating). That's 16 years to re-entrench Britons' natural Conservatism.

The left is fond of arguing that there's a centre left "consensus", on the grounds that even when the Tories get 44%, 56% of the elctorate "voted against" Conservatism.

The flaw in this of course is that last week 74% "voted against" the LibDems and 76% "voted against" Labour. I live in a Lab/Libdem marginal and I make a point of voting for the weaker party. I do this because I'm a Conservative, and I want both those parties to misallocate their campaigning resources to the seat. It doesn't matter to me who wins it, because neither is a Tory, but if we can get the rats fighting each other, then they are that much more thinly spread (and less able to win) against Conservatives elsewhere.

Of course, according to Labour, this makes me part of their supposed "centre left consensus" too, because I regularly vote for a left of centre party. We can all see how utterly fallacious that supposition is.

Anonymous said...

Is Portillio one of Brown's spin meisters?

Anonymous said...

Exactly what I wrote in the comments under the post on the poll itself. Nobody has any idea what any of these leaders would do with the Labour party.

Bill Quango MP said...

So, is there any good news today?

Yes Gordon.. here in The Sun.

My word, you're right. A vindication. I knew things would turn around. I'm the least rubbish of all the cabinet.
This is the turning point, things are looking up now. If we can just get past today then the Sunday's will be about something other than me for once. Nothing bad today is there?

Ermm..BBC has Repossession orders climb by 17% , Mandelson attacks 10p tax policy, and word of a significant rift between Ms Alexander and Mr Brown.

Thank God. for a moment I thought i might still be in trouble.

rupert tube said...

Some waning memory of Kinnock's return to the Walworth Road HQ in the small hours following GE 1992 still lingers … all the apparatchiks had lined up on the cantilevered staircase to greet their Leader. And at the bottom was Brian Gould. And Neil Kinnock embraced Brian Gould and Brian Gould was in tears. And then on the first step was upcoming master-tactician, Peter Mandelson. An Neil Kinnock embraced Peter Mandelson and Peter Mandelson was in tears. Up and up he went, embracing every last snivelling apparatchik. And they were all in tears…

AND THEY WERE ALL IN TEARS!!!

Since September 1997 at the latest, stoicism and the stiff upper lip have yielded to lachrymosity as our national criterion of identity. And, as Barry Norman apparently never said, why not? Bring on the weep in.

dirty european socialist said...

I still feel the party needs to wait atleast 6 months to get over the economic downturn no point in throwing a leader who lacks expeirence into the job during a downturn.

Anyway the tory leader was seen as a bully according to a page on the guardian

blogs.guardian.co.uk/organgri
nder/2005/12/steve_busfield.html

So why do no tories care about that. Or are only scottish people badly behaved in their view.

By the way the conservative party was on 22% in december 1994 while labour was on 61%. So we are not as up the #### as the tories were.

norman said...

'So what' Balls' rating has hit a deep freeze like reading in chemical labs like -273K! Brown, 'So what 'Balls and other cronies are effectively forzen and fossilised!

a pedant said...

That'll be "infinitesimal" then?

Anonymous said...

Musing on the time warp to 19th century politics...

Calamity Clegg a Gladstone Mk II?

Where is his Irish question? - we already know about the Gladstone Bag aspect of him. Perhaps it will be the Scottish question?

And who is going to be the Disraeli of the Tory Party?

Osbourne?

Will this make Alex Salmond the Parnell of the 21st Century?

Will the British Navy have more than one rowing boat then?

And who will stand up to the latter-day High Germany, ie The EU?

Hiraeth said...

To be honest, I think that Labour already shows some of the signs of having become the Liberal Party of the early twentieth century, dependent on the sale of honours and high-earning businessmen. One must remember that in 1910, the real uber-capitalists were Liberals. It was was financial services people and the smaller businesses that supported the Conservatives, those who had nothing to gain by 'globalisation'. I suspect that Labour is down, but not necessarily out. Remember, every mid-term fall has been followed by a rally (note to Socialist types; that rally has only once produced an election victory). There is still a danger of a Labour-Liberal coalition. At the moment here in Wales, I predict that the Conservatives will win back Cardiff North, Aberconwy, Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire, with a possible two others (Vale of Clwyd and either Delyn or Brecon & Radnor), but certainly nothing up to the standards of '83.

The Liberals will, I predict, hit crisis point somewhere along the line, but until then, so long as they divide the progressive vote, allowing us through the middle, they're welcome to all the centre ground they can find. Although I suspect that ground has been pinched by Cameron, who I would argue is, unlike Brown, a national politician. As well as a leader.

Aardvark said...

norman said...
'So what' Balls' rating has hit a deep freeze like reading in chemical labs like -273K! Brown, 'So what 'Balls and other cronies are effectively forzen and fossilised!

There is no such temperature as -273K. Do you mean Absolute Zero which is -273C.