Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Labour ahead again

After the Independent, YouGov/Sun both put Labour ahead of the Tories in the opinion polls recently, The Guardian's ICM poll has also given them a slender lead.

Aside from appearances at Prime Ministers question time we've seen very little of Ed Miliband as yet. That he finds himself in a slightly advantageous poll position could result from several factors. The first is that not having Gordon Brown in charge seems to make Labour more popular/less unpopular. Not being the Tories helps too.

Until Ed Miliband's reign begins to take shape in public - and it hasn't yet - the main story is the demise of the Lib Dems. This was widely predicted at the outset of the coalition and the prophecy of many is being borne out. The third party's support is now the lowest among under 24s, the same group that supported them most strongly at the election only a few months ago. The Lib Dems are paying the price for campaigning on a single issue, student tuition fees, then dropping their core pledge as soon as they gain any power. The party was clearly to the right of where many (mistakenly) thought they were, repeatedly banishing their left wing policies and of course electing a proto-Tory in Nick Clegg as their leader.

After yesterday's showcase interview with The Guardian I'm looking forward to Ed Miliband making further dents in the Tories position. His strategy seems to be to re-build in-party morale first before turning outwards to the Tories. Nothing sorts party morale out like taking control of the media agenda and kicking the unpopular Tories.

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