Saturday, June 06, 2009

Labour Members Want Brown to Go

From Channel 4 News...

Labour party members no longer have confidence in Gordon Brown's leadership - according to an exclusive poll carried out by Channel 4 News. In a damning verdict on the prime minister -a majority think he should step down before the next election - and more than one in five think he should go now.

Two thirds believe Mr Brown isn't able to communicate his ideas effectively to the public - and almost half think he's weak and indecisive. The survey also reveals the impact of the expenses crisis - Mr Brown's approval rating has plummeted from 77% in February to just 54% today.
That gives him the worst performance ratings in Cabinet - the only ministers with lower scores were James Purnell and Jacqui Smith - and both of them have now resigned.

But there's good news for the man widely tipped as the next Labour leader - Alan Johnson - comes top - with an approval rating of 75%. Labour members aren't impressed with the way Mr Brown has dealt with the expenses crisis either. In the survey - just one in four think he's done better than his rival party leaders - David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

And in common with the wider electorate - the scandal has put them off politicians in general - with half of party members saying none of the leaders has handled it well.

There's no comfort for the Prime Minister when it comes to his leadership qualities. Most of the members think he should have sacked Jacqui Smith and Hazel Blears over their expenses earlier - before they took matters into their own hands and resigned. And less than half think reshuffling the Cabinet will do anything to strengthen the Government. In fact - 53% think the party would be better off if Tony Blair was still leader.

When it comes to a potential successor - Alan Johnson comes top of the poll - with 37% - well ahead of the second choice - David Miliband, on just 12%. But just a handful of party members believe either man could lead Labour to victory in the next General election: although slightly more believe it's possible, although unlikely, for Labour to win under Mr Johnson. And although Alastair Darling is still seen as a better Chancellor than Ed Balls - almost half of Labour members don't know - or want a different Chancellor altogether. YouGov contacted some 800 Labour party members around the country for the poll - which was carried out in the wake of Thursday's local and European elections.


Tory Bear said...

They still believe...

Silent Hunter said...

That must be the worst indignity for him to bear - that more than half his own party think that the man they ousted in his favour, would do a better job than he is.

politicalphilosopher said...

With any luck Brown will be a wreck after the Euro results tomorrow. With attitudes towards the Beloved Leader of Labour and another set of destitute electoral results, it wont be long before the Labour sharks start to circle, and the backbenchers get themselves together to rid them of the man driving Labour further into the wasteland of third major party; after the Tories and LibDems.

Johnny Norfolk said...

The Guardian reported today.

"In the St Ives ward of Cambridgeshire county council, Labour came sixth behind two Conservatives, two Liberal Democrats and Lord Toby Jug of the Official Monster Raving Loony party."

Not bad after 12 years.

wonderfulforhisage said...

I wonder if Blair is vain enough to consider orchestrating a comeback? On second thoughts, of course he's vain enough, but, even he'd baulk at picking up the mess that Brown will leave behind.

On the other hand.....

strapworld said...

I want Brown to carry on. I remember that oaf Kinnock saying he wanted to destroy the tory party!

well, I want Brown with Mrs Kinnock to destroy the labour party.

let the party members desert the party in droves.

let the party dwindle and die and be destroyed by themselves.

They all deserve it!

strapworld said...

Having watched the D Day Remembered coverage. I have to say how impressed I am by Sarah Brown.

She deserves better!

SHB said...

The big question now is whether the PLP will openly revolt at their Monday night meeting?

This poll also undermines the party line that 'people want us to get on with the job'.

It could all be over sooner than we think.

Richard's mum said...

Perhaps Johnson appeals to the Labour grassroots because, like Prescott, he is barely literate. You only have to hear him gloating about his new job as 'Home Seker-terry'. God forbid he ever gets his finger on the 'nucular' button.

Anonymous said...

Brown seems so obdurate though. I can't imagine him listening to anyone advising him to stand down. I suspect he'd prefer to call a GE rather than hand over the reigns.

kenny murphy said...

I can understand tribal Tories wanting Brown to carry on... He's going to destroy the Labour Party to the point where it will possibly never recover at the ballot box.

However, for the good of the country it is important that we have strong options for our electorate.

Few Tories will believe or think this but a closer run election with a different Labour leader will be no bad thing for any Tory government, but in particular our country.

Brown has no mandate. Let alone within the Labour party never mind the country.

Labour MP's simply must look beyond petty worthless tribal loyalties and do what is ultimately right for them, the party but more importantly our country.

Stand up and tell him on Monday evening at the PLP that he's finished. He must go. Elect a new leader and confirm that in October the British people will be given their voice.

Under a new leader their will be a choice. There will be a competitive edge to that election.

After recent events UK PLC requires nothing less.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BROWN OUT said...

The funniest article I have read in ages was in the Times today - 'Neil Kinnock gives Brown his backing'.


gustavus said...

Brown just referred to Omaha Beach as "Obama Beach":

I want to cry.

VotR said...

Labour are so corrupted and used to being in power they won't go even when defeat hasn't just stared them in the face, but slapped and spat in it as well.

They are mired in the fat of the land, and they don't want to give it up.

Only by using your vote as a weapon, by voting in an opposition party, Tories in this case but it could so very easily be reversed in coming years, will Labour get the message, be uprooted and felled before relinquishing command.

Mainstream opposition parties are a natural choice of weapon for the voter. But if the minority parties gain enough support in years to come, then they could be used as voting ammunition as well. Labour is at war with itself, at war with its nation and its voters. They show nothing but proud contempt even when presented with immense evidence that they will lose the next general election under the current leadership. And pride goeth before a fall.

People should never forget what Labour have done to earn such equal contempt and apathy from the voters: Expense abuses, corruption, positive discrimination against men, unelected prime ministers, massive public spending and debt, an ID card Big Brother and Nanny State, biometric rape of childrens DNA on a national database, ID numbers on ballot cards written down by electoral staff next to voters names on posting, the list goes on.
Never forget.

Anonymous said...

Just be careful what you wish for. With Brown gone, so is the Tories' biggest asset. There's plenty of floating voters who might return to the Labour fold if an inoffensive lightweight like Johnson takes over.

Will Labour win the next election? With Brown as PM, impossible. With a new leader, no matter how untested, they have a chance.

A new leader does not have to call an election anytime soon - despite the enormous pressure to do so - and that could really deflate the Tories.

Sorry to be pesimistic - but Cameron has by no means sealed the deal with the electorate.

Just remember this - if they jettison Brown, whoever takes over, will be more popular - and will hog the media for quite a while.

In other words, the initiative might be regained - for how long is another matter.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Nothing will happen on Monday next week or the week after...Labour wallahs collectively havent the guts of a louse. They will put up with him until a some pied piper appears and they can just follow...pathetic lot

Fausty said...

How many members does the Labour Party have?

Surely, Labour can see that if it wants to attract funding, McMental will have to go.

DM Andy said...

Would it have done the Tories any good to have thrown Major overboard in 1996? And was it corrupt of the Tories to cling onto power until the last position moment in 1997? Probably not in both cases.

It does make me sad as a Labour Party member to see the people we worked hard for in past elections now squabbling rather than actually trying to win the next election. But then I did enjoy watching the same thing happen to the Tories in the mid 90s so you're welcome the opportunity to gloat.

Anonymous said...

Where has the Political Betting blog gone?

Georges said...

Is Michael White aware of this?

resurgemus said...


if Brown looks as if he will survive say middle of next week and the prospects are to limp on for a year, how do you see the prospects of Labour MPs defecting to other parties and teherby tipping the balance of power ?

Uncle Bob said...

DM Andy, the difference is that though the country wanted the tories out, Major was not hated...HATED, by the electorate like Brown is. The biggest mistake labour made was getting rid of Blair and the biggest mistake Blair made was not demoting Brown. The man has the rare duality of being a bully and a coward at the same time. The sooner he is got rid of the better, even if it means a conservative super majority is less likely. Our country cannot continue to drift from disaster to disaster as it has been under his stewardship.

Martin said...

If Brown goes Mandelson will be PM. HE is deputy PM now not Hattie.

SHB said...

Ben Bradshaw has only been in the job 24 hours and he is already out of touch.

Apparently he has been saying there is no mood among the party grassroots for a bruising battle over the leadership.

He should read this blog to keep up to date.:)

Goodnight Vienna said...

This clip of Brown renaming Omaha Beach deserves a wider audience than I have - hope you don't mind:
Gordon renames Omaha Beach

Anonymous said...

Brown booed at D Day beaches.

Call's Omaha Beach "Obama Beach"

Clinical meltdown

DM Andy said...

Uncle Bob, I believe the difference is that you want Brown out and you didn't want Major out.

Major's administration actually had worse approval/disapproval figures than Brown has now, Major got down to 9% approve, 84% disapprove. The worst that Brown's had is 17% approve, 80% disapprove. Admittedly Major wasn't seen as a bully, but he was perceived as just as weak as Brown is now.

Besides if strength of feeling against a political figure is sufficient for resignation, wouldn't you agree that Thatcher should have resigned in 1984, she was certainly hated by a large number of people, as many as hate Brown now.

norman said...

Certainly there are a number of Brownian delusionists here like DM Andy for example. Major was not hated, it is that voters were fed up with his govt. I have not come across the kind of hatred Brown generates since Callaghan days when he asked " crisis what crisis" and let the union thugs roam around in the Winter of Discontent, not burying the dead. That was when the country voted for Thatcher to fix this sick animal called Britain. That is a historical pointer for DM Andy, the rarest animal called Labour Supporter these days!

Joanne said...

Even if the PLP wanted a leadership election, what's to stop an embittered Brown threatening to take all his MPs down with him by saying: Back me or I immediately call a general election.

Could he conceivably do that as he's probably bitter and angry enough.

Anonymous said...

June 06, 2009 4:05 PM

It's still there has/had dns problems,
try and read comments

Thanks Iain

Bobby Davro said...

Old rightie has got a cracking piece of analysis on all this:

DM Andy said...

Norman, I'm not delusional, after all, you seem to have missed the bit where I explained that Major wasn't hated.

But if you believe that Thatcher isn't hated by at some some proportion of the electorate then you are most certainly delusional.

And yes, I am a Labour member, proud to be a supporter. I'm willing to hear how you think Cameron will be any better a PM though.

judith said...

DM Andy, as a Tory political anorak, I think it's sad that what we are watching is in many ways a re-run of the Major years - politicians never seem to learn from the previous generation's mistakes.

Yes, part of me is reeling with laughter at seeing Brown's godawful mess, but the better part of me is just angry at him putting our country through all this.

I'm falling more in love with the idea of not allowing politicians to stand for more than (let's be generous) 4 terms - after that, they just go native or go potty.

DM Andy said...


I do agree with you there, though at least the arguments of the mid 90s was over policy rather than personality. But in the 1997 election, Tories still worked hard for their candidates, knowing that they were going to lose, and that's what I'm going to do in next year's election.

copydude said...

DM Andy said:

' at least the arguments of the mid 90s was over policy rather than personality.'

Obviously you never read Private Eye in those days. 'John Major's Diary', where he recounts doing important things as PM, like sorting pencils into one jar and biros into another, was a hoot.

Then there was the cartoon series, '101 uses of John Major' - JM as a Bottle Bank Manager was my favourite.

But I agree that Major was never disliked.

TrueBlueBlood said...

Labour members may want him to go.

But us Conservatives dont. (just blogged on this on

Gordon Brown is the Conservatives biggest electoral asset. Keep him in place.