How the numbers show that he has a lot to smile about
Judging by the latest round of press comment and the reaction to the polls you would have thought that Brown had brought his party to the point of electoral disaster with an inglorious election defeat being the only possible outcome.
Yet are these perceptions correct? For the numbers suggest that under Gordon Labour’s polling position has been transformed with the number of people telling pollsters they would vote Labour up sharply.
Thus taking ICM surveys from January 2007 until Gord came in Labour were never out of the 29-32% range. Since the abortive election decision the same pollster has found Labour shares of 35%, 35%, 36% and 38%.
That’s quite a big uplift and if Labour can stay in the mid-30s it is quite hard for the Tories to win a majority.
Our views are being distorted by two things – we tend just to look at the Lab-Con margins in the polls and not what Bob Worcester advised us to do in his PBC session a few weeks back – the actual shares; and secondly we are judging Gord by the crazy polling period of September just around the party conference season when polls leads of 13% were reported.
In May-June, I was arguing strongly that we should wait maybe six months before coming to any conclusion about his premiership. For things would be distorted by the inevitable honeymoon and then the party conference season. That indeed is what happened.
So in spite of the apparent poor polling news Labour is doing better under Gordon than under his predecessor.