The Thick of It


Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Labour by default

Labour's lead in opinion polls remains consistently at a minimum of five points over the Tories with the Lib Dems around or below 10%.

Latest Voting Intention

Looking back over the polls between Labour's disastrous 1983 election and resounding defeat in 1987 shows a similar pattern. A year after the election Labour were consistently ahead of the Tories but the failure of the party to earn the trust of voters saw this gradually eroded by the 1987 election day. The same thing happened again between 1987 and 1992. Until Ed Miliband starts to get a strong and positive recognition from voters I fear that 2015 may lead to a similar result as 1987 or 1992.

It feels a bit like the 1980s at the moment. An unpopular Tory government, cuts, protests and a dodgy economy. Miliband's job is easier than Kinnock's though as there is no major internal party strife to deal with. It is an opportunity and a crucial one for the country at a time when the Tories are getting cockier by the day with Climate Change minster Greg Barker saying the current government's cuts are what "Thatcher could only have dreamed of." That's very different to the official line and faux sombre faces of George Osborne and Danny Alexander every time they announce more cuts - this is sad and bad but necessary. Miliband needs to make people realise his feelings are real.

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