Has the gloss gone off Gordon?
One of the odder poll results during this first week of the party conference season is that Labour could drop support if Gordon Brown, as expected, becomes leader.
An ICM survey had top-line figures of LAB 40: CON 31: LD 21. But when asked how they would vote if Labour was led by Brown and the Tories by Clarke the vote shares change to LAB 38: CON 30: LD 25. So both Labour and the Tories go down and the Lib Dems go up.
This must be the first major survey for a long time where the proposition of the Chancellor as leader has harmed his party not helped it. As Anthony Wells points out in his excellent commentry a YouGov poll before the General Election in May suggested that the Labour lead would be increased from 4% to 13% if Brown was in the top job.
The survey took place last week when because of the fuel price rises and protests the Chancellor was in the media a lot more than he has been since the General Election.
It’s decision day for Charles
There will be a level of nervousness around the Lib Dem leader at their Blackpool conference today as delegates vote on the rule change that would make it hard for MPs to challenge Charles Kennedy. Instead of a challenger having to get just a proposer and a seconder delegates will be asked to impose a minimum support level of 10% of the party’s MPs.
With the conference having inflicted defeats on the leadership over the EU and the Post Office it will be interesting to see whether they do the same over this move, particularly as much of the talk has been over the style of the Kennedy leadership.
The David Davis price moves in and then out
So far the week has seen a lot movement in the best price available on David Davis. At one stage yesterday it got to 0.46/1 on the Betfair betting exchange. It then slipped back it its current 0.58/1.
Trading levels have been relatively modest with only about Â£4,000 worth of bets being matched in 24 hours. It seems that most punters are waiting until next week’s vote on how the leadership election should take place before risking their cash.