ME and Ophelia

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Bring back Tony Blair

Of 800 Labour Members polled by YouGov, 53% think the party would be better off if Tony Blair was still leader. I say, bring back Tony Blair.

Labour Members Want Brown to Go
From Iain Dale's blog on Saturday, 06 June 2009, 3:00 PM GMT
From Channel 4 News on Saturday, 06 June 2009:
Brown should go - say Labour members

Labour party members no longer have confidence in Gordon Brown's leadership - according to an exclusive poll carried out by Channel 4 News. In a damning verdict on the prime minister - a majority think he should step down before the next election - and more than one in five think he should go now.

Two thirds believe Mr Brown isn't able to communicate his ideas effectively to the public - and almost half think he's weak and indecisive. The survey also reveals the impact of the expenses crisis - Mr Brown's approval rating has plummeted from 77% in February to just 54% today.
That gives him the worst performance ratings in Cabinet - the only ministers with lower scores were James Purnell and Jacqui Smith - and both of them have now resigned.

But there's good news for the man widely tipped as the next Labour leader - Alan Johnson - comes top - with an approval rating of 75%. Labour members aren't impressed with the way Mr Brown has dealt with the expenses crisis either. In the survey - just one in four think he's done better than his rival party leaders - David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

And in common with the wider electorate - the scandal has put them off politicians in general - with half of party members saying none of the leaders has handled it well.

There's no comfort for the Prime Minister when it comes to his leadership qualities. Most of the members think he should have sacked Jacqui Smith and Hazel Blears over their expenses earlier - before they took matters into their own hands and resigned. And less than half think reshuffling the Cabinet will do anything to strengthen the Government. In fact - 53% think the party would be better off if Tony Blair was still leader.

When it comes to a potential successor - Alan Johnson comes top of the poll - with 37% - well ahead of the second choice - David Miliband, on just 12%. But just a handful of party members believe either man could lead Labour to victory in the next General election: although slightly more believe it's possible, although unlikely, for Labour to win under Mr Johnson. And although Alastair Darling is still seen as a better Chancellor than Ed Balls - almost half of Labour members don't know - or want a different Chancellor altogether. YouGov contacted some 800 Labour party members around the country for the poll - which was carried out in the wake of Thursday's local and European elections.
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Excerpt from today's Channel 4 News Snowmail:
Krishnan here - tonight at 6.30pm how Labour members feel about Gordon Brown.
We've asked YouGov to poll Labour activists and it is pretty surprising stuff.

This is normally a group of people who are more loyal to the leadership than Labour MPs. But less than half want Gordon Brown to stay on as PM. More want him to quit either now or before the next election.

His approval rating has plummeted to 53 per cent from over 70 per cent just in February. Alan Johnson gets 75 per cent; David Miliband is on 70 per cent.

The PM is judged a weak leader by 41 per cent of Labour activists, 66 per cent think he's a bad communicator and 40 per cent say he's indecisive.

Crucially 49 per cent say he should quit if 70 MPs sign the email doing the rounds at the moment.

And Alan Johnson is the clear favourite to succeed him, followed by David Miliband.

Today has seen a lull in political activity - no resignations. But is it the calm before the storm of European election results that will deal another terrible blow to the prime minister?

Who knows whether any more big beasts will strike, or whether they have really been tied in by the reshuffle.

Interestingly our poll showed a clear majority of Labour activists think the reshuffle has either made no difference or made the situation worse.

We'll be discussing the findings with Lord Adonis - who has been promoted to transport secretary and becomes one of the seven unelected people in the Cabinet now.

Then we'll be talking to our regular panel of Polly Toynbee from the Guardian, David Hill, who used to run communications for Tony Blair and George Bridges who was David Cameron's political director for a while and worked for John Major.
# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 6/06/2009
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