Monday, 11 January 2010

Poll results: Who would best replace Brown?

Who would best replace Brown?

Lord Mandy 5 votes (13%)
David Miliband 0 (0%)
Jack Straw 4 (11%)
Harriet Harperson 2 (5%)
Alan Johnson 3 (8%)
James Purnell 4 (11%)
Ed Balls 1 (3%)
Jim Murphy 1 (3%)
Alastair Darling 1 (3%)
Other 15 (43%)

Thanks to one and all for your votes. Looks like an utter lack of endorsement for any of the main contenders. The polls at the weekend tend to show a drift towards the Tories, though not dramatically so.

Will Labour have a long wait before they return to electability, like the Tories after '97? I'm not so sure - the weakness of the economy will give the Tories a very short honeymoon. If Labour are smart they'll have a good dose of bloodletting after the election, remove as much dead wood and clear the way for a new generation as soon as possible. Once the cuts start to bite in the next parliament they'll at least have the opportunity to capitalise on any discontent with the Tories. Whether they can ever hope to reconnect with Middle England to the extent that Blair did is very doubtful though.


subrosa said...

Labour won't get back in with middle England for generations now fl. They've done too much damage.

forfar-loon said...

Then again so did the Tories in the 80's/90's SR, and I'm not sure they have been forgiven for their worst excesses, even by Middle England. Cameron & co are not exactly filling the electorate with enthusiasm. There seems to be more of a reluctant feeling that they are the only alternative to Labour, at least south of the border. Fortunately in Scotland there is another option...

Anonymous said...

Unless I’m mistaken, when Mrs Thatcher got in in 1979, she was supposed to be the saviour of the people, but her reforms to get the country back into shape (her shape) were so unpopular that she would certainly have been binned by the next election, had it not been for the Falklands war.

Battering Johnny Argie Foreigner and sinking the Belgrano went down (I mean no pun) well with the public and, on the crest of her (imagined) Churchillian victory, she lit a cigar and went to the country .......and middle England cheered her to the rafters.

It was probably the beginning of her slide into insanity.

She had a tiny deficit to clear. Cameron’s task is mammoth by comparison. He will almost certainly fail (who wouldn’t?). He won’t have any victory in Port Stanley. We are sick of wars right now, and we always lose them anyway. Mr C’s only hope is that Iceland gets stroppy with us over the bank money, we send a gunboat (presumably rented from the Americans), blow Reykjav√≠k out of the water, plant the Union Jack for the Queen outside the Presidential Palace and shoot a few hundred Icelanders... Sorted, job done and Dave gets back. The only thing left to do will be to repay teh Americans for the gunboat!

Otherwise, by the first election, even Labour will sound good. Except hopefully to Scots who will decide to go their own way.

Gedguy said...

I suspect that the Labour party don't want to get back in at the next election. Who, in their right minds (in the Labour party) would want to take the reins of a financial mess that is going to take at least one parliament to sort out.
It would be far better, for the Labour party, to lose and blame the financial restrictions, that will surely come, on the Tories.
I think that you are correct that the bloodletting will start as soon as the election is over. The Labour party knives are already being sharpened.

forfar-loon said...

A scary prospect there tris!

The danger for Labour is the electorate's memory. From '87 onwards people were sick of the Tories, but didn't trust Labour because of their mishandling of pretty much everything in the '70s. It took until '97 for the nasty party to p*ss everyone off enough that Labour looked good again. And it's now taken 13 years for people to consider giving the Tories another chance. I'm not sure Labour will be forgiven in 5 years time, especially with the cuts that are coming.

Now obviously that will pose a dilemma for the English electorate in 2015. Poor performance of Tweedledum and Tweedledee will be fresh in their minds. They might just turn to the Lib Dems in desperation!

In Scotland the SNP are an interesting extra factor. If they can govern responsibly and well until 2011, win the next Scottish election and then repeat the trick thereafter then the 2015 UK GE might just be very interesting indeed. Especially if we have PR in place by then!

forfar-loon said...

Gedguy, I agree. I think that certain elements of the Labour party are resigned to defeat and are already jockeying for position. The Milibands/Johnsons of the Labour party would have been nuts to have taken over now, hence their tepid endorsements of Brown.

The would-be leaders have a tricky balancing act: on the one hand they have to be seen as loyal, yet on the other they need to put sufficient distance between themselves and Brown in order to have a chance in the post-election Labour leadership scrap. The party won't vote for a Brutus, yet at the same time they'll know that their best chance of returning to power is with someone (relatively) untarnished by association with Brown.