Poll position and other puns…
The latest opinion polls by ComRes and YouGov for The independent and Sun newspapers seem to be confirming a trend.
The trend is for voters who previously backed the LibDems to switch to Labour, as a result of Coalition policies, which, of course, no voter actually voted for. In one sense, this is no surprise, as the ideological nature of many of the cuts so far has become clear, and for all the blather of “New Politics” by Pork Balls and Little Nicky, we have the most ideological government since the 1980s, thinly masked as “equality of sacrifice” and “national interest” (themes last used by the National Government in the thirties).
So, some good news for Labour, as various polls put them either a couple of points ahead, or just a couple of points behind the Conservatives, with the LibDems losing out in most cases. However, this is not enough – to win next time, after the effective Gerrymandering of boundaries we will see next year, we need to take a commanding lead.
So far Ed M and Alan Johnson have done well, and have reversed the bad results of the recent past, presenting a cautious, sensible front against both cuts and Coalition jibes. It is fair to say that whoever won the May election would have been in a little trouble by now anyway, so we need to hammer home the arguments that Gideon and his chums are not competent or willing to take on the Banks, that they are divorced from the lives of the vast majority of our fellow Britons, and that The Coalition is simply not correct in its solutions to the crisis.
This is hard work, and will take time. Here in London, we are not helped by the Bethnal Green affair, nor by the choice of Ken Livingstone once again as Mayoral Candidate, but these are by no means insurmountable problems.
Ed is the right leader, with the right approach. One of the remarkable features of New Labour was its ability to turn history on its head. The 1945 victory was possible for a whole range of factors, but not least was Attlees’ leadership – and public persona. Quite simply, his dry, dull exterior made many radical changes seem incredibly normal and well, dull. Tony Blair made a slight tweak in the status quo seem exciting and new. Guess which one I prefer…
Ed has to carry on being the calm quiet one at the Dispatch Box, as this very effectively puts Cameron into a spin, creating the image an air of panic within Downing Street.
We have a tough time ahead, as people will not forget or forgive the failures of the recent past (nor should they), but if we can truly pose alternatives to both the cuts and Government by Millionaire, then we can win, not just in 2015, but before then in the local elections next May.