Will the Olympic euphoria tide Brown over?

Will the Olympic euphoria tide Brown over?


    Or are the fundementals just the same?

With GB’s succeses in Beijing and the lack of any further moves on his leadership there is said to be a “mood of euphoria” surrounding the PM. The hope is that he’ll get through September unscathed so that his conference speech in Manchester will provide the platform for recovery.

Brown is being helped as well by the dramatic political events across the Atlantic. For the next fortnight the main political focus wil be on things American not things British.

But there gnawing away in the background is the impact on Labour of the summer of dreadful polls and by elections. The big questions are whether the party’s travails are down to the leader, or the party as a whole after more than eleven years in power.

One thing that Labour insiders seem reluctant to admit is that Cameron’s Tories are now more popular.

One common theme you hear from them is that “Cameron has yet to seal the deal with the electorate”. If that’s the case, it’s argued, then if Labour can “expose” Cameron then there might be just a chance of turning the tide.

Well the above findings from questions that are rarely asked, from the July Ipsos-MORI poll, don’t offer much encouragement. For while the poll shows that both Brown and his party are unpopular the numbers do not suggest much weakness in the Cameron/Tory position.

Perhaps the biggest hope is the quite substantial gap between those who like Cameron but don’t like the Tories.

One factor about polling generally is that there is nothing like the systematic bias to Labour that used to exist. Thus MORI is now weighting its data to deal with the potential distortion of differing response rates from public sector workers compared with everybody else. As might be expected the former group was more inclined to be pro-Labour.

Public opinion, as we saw last October, can change but the time available to Labour before a general election is slowly running out. Should they stick with Gordon? My view is yes because of the lack of alternatives.

Please note I am on holiday away from regular access to the internet or the UK media so my posting is limited.

Mike Smithson

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