Is the Brown/Blair split costing votes?
Labour has slipped 2% in the first poll of 2005 which also shows that more people want Gordon Brown to be Prime Minister than Tony Blair. This brings ICM back into the line with the other pollsters who have all shown Labour slipping back a little since November.
By way of comparison the average Labour share with ICM in 2000, the year before the last General Election, was 48%. Tomorrow’s poll shows that the party’s rating is down between a quarter and a fifth. The big bonus for Labour is that the Tories continue to flat-line but the Lib Dems are well up.
The last ICM poll had the party Labour back at 40% for the first time since the famous Andrew Gilligan broadcast in May 2003 and was against the overall trend.
The main party shares in tomorrow’s ICM poll are:- LAB 38 (-2): CON 31 (N/C): LD 21 (N/C)
If this fall is followed by other polls – the next should be from Populus on Tuesday – then it will reinforce the view that the much publicised Brown-Blair split could cost the party dearly at the election.
Some 27% of people want the Chancellor to be the next Prime Minister â€“ 1% more than want Mr Blair to stay in the job. The poll comes amid renewed speculation over Mr Brownâ€™s ambition to take over from Mr Blair and renewed betting activity on him moving out of Number 10 by the end of the year.
The ICM poll for tomorrowâ€™s News of the World found just 14% wanted Tory leader Michael Howard as the next Prime Minister, compared to 15% who wanted Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy. And 50% of voters said former Home Secretary David Blunkett should be brought back into the Government after the General Election.
Latest General Election spread betting prices from Spreadfair.
LAB 352-355: CON 193-197: LD 71-71.5: SNP 5-6: PC 3.8-5: UKIP 0.5-1.1
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