Green shoots of Labour recovery?
I honestly cannot remember the last time Labour have risen out of the 20’s into the 30s in an opinion poll (excluding the daily tracker You Gov ran during conference season). However, in the latest Populous poll for The Times it has happened (the last time they were in the 30s with them was April) so this begs the question; are Labour on the road to recovery? With Gordon Brown as leader the immediate answer has to be no;
The Tories remain strongly placed, however, with David Cameron increasing his lead over Gordon Brown as the better prime minister “right now” to deal with the recession by 45 to 30 per cent and to lead Britain forward after the election by 48 to 28 per cent.
Brown has lost so much credibility that the situation seems pretty much beyond repair; if Labour Party MP’s had the courage and foresight to see that and changed their leader it could very well be a major game-changer. Interestingly, the poll finds 57% expecting a Conservative majority; I think there is a link between this and the increased Labour support (at the expense of ‘Others’). I attribute it to core Labour voters realising the situation and deciding they can no longer afford the luxury of protest.
Populus asked a question on occupations which produced some interesting results; essentially it found that the bedrock of Conservative support was amoung the retired. Also, it found that the bedrock of trust in the Conservatives was within this group;
Nearly half the retired (49 per cent) believe that the Tories are more likely than Labour to make cuts in ways that protect frontline public services, against 37 per cent in the public sector and 39 per cent in the private sector.
So, this promises some traction for Labour if they focus on this message; that the Conservatives cannot be trusted to protect core services. There was further good news for Labour;
Labour is still ahead on being more likely to minimise public sector job losses by 49 to 33 per cent and in spreading the burden of cuts fairly by 43 to 36 per cent.
Although in both questions the Conservatives were still favoured by the retired it does show they remain vulnerable to attack along these lines. If Labour got a new leader with less penalty points; if it was savvy and subtle in undermining trust in the Conservative agenda then it need not be game over for the general election; however, since the leadership replacement is unlikely to happen and their strategy has been not shown to be either of those things it still looks as if this government is doomed to electoral humiliation.