12 November 2008

Labour now back to 2005 levels of popularity

Hello any Blairites still out there. Remember when yer man limped his party home with 35% of the vote in the '05 election? And remember when you all said Gordon Brown was going to be bloody awful, we'd miss Tony when he was gone, etc.? And remember the several months of '08 when we were agreeing with you? 

What a difference a financial crisis makes. OK, so the Sunday Telegraph had a poll with Labour on only 30% - but no-one reads that except 'Van Patten' who sometimes posts on here, and he's a mentalist. Lookee at The Times yesterday and we find a Populus poll with the following numbers: 

Labour - 35%
Tories - 41%
Lib Dems - 16%

That's Labour back on 35% - and possibly with further to climb. The difference from '05, of course, is that the Tories are on 41%, not 33%. It's likely - although not certain - that if the country voted like that at the general election, Cameron would have a small majority. But any further tightening and the current bias towards Labour in the electoral system means we are definitely into hung parliament territory. 

Or even, the nightmare scenario for the Tories of Labour being perhaps 3% down in the popular vote and still winning a majority... that's the insanity of first-past-the-post for you, and time was when the Conservatives gave a rat's ass about that kind of thing. There were a lot of people talking about the 'elective dictatorship' in the mid-70s when Harold Wilson had a Commons majority (just) on 39% of the vote. Fast forward to a govt elected with 35% of the vote and we hear... not a peep out of the Tories. Crazy. 

And even the Lib Dems seem pretty quiet about electoral reform these days. They're too busy trying to cut taxes and spending. Monetarism 30 years too late, guys! Get with the program! Seriously, does anybody know what planet Nick Clegg is on? This guy has to be the biggest disappointment as a political leader since David Owen, at least. (Ming Campbell wasn't a disappointment because no-one expected him to be any good in the first place.) Vince Cable should lead a (metaphorical) assassination attempt on Clegg, because otherwise the Lib Dems are gonna be back to a complete rump party with a handful of seats and even less influence than they have now. Sad, very sad. 

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