Will this afternoon’s speech change any of these minds?

Will this afternoon’s speech change any of these minds?

luntz-the-final-vote.jpgClick on the panel to watch

    Have even Labour-leaners just given up on Brown?

The picture above is the final screen-shot form the three-part Frank Luntz Newsnight focus group in Manchester which was shown last night. It shows how those involved responded when Luntz asked those who had just “given up on Gordon” to raise their hands.

I didn’t do a count but it appeared that about four-fifths of the participants indicated their agreement – and that in a nutshell is Labour’s problem.

    It’s hard to see what Brown can say any more that is going to turn things round. Once confidence goes like this, as we saw in the John Major years, it goes for good.

What we don’t know is whether the problem is Brown himself or is it Labour generally. What polling there is tends to suggest the latter. I’m not so sure.

The novelty of Labour having a different voice, a different style and a different approach could just turn things round. My view is that a John Reid – yes I know about his back-story – might just have a chance and would be challenging to Cameron. Alan Johnson came out of the Luntz focus group quite well but I still think he lacks bite.

A James Purnell leadership might make an impact and he’s helped by not being too associated with what’s gone on in recent years. I’m less convinced by David Miliband though his brother, Ed, is much more impressive, looks less geeky and is a better communicator. I thought he did well with Paxman last night.

  • My betting. I’ve got long-shot punts (33/1 or longer) on Cruddas, Purnell, Reid and Ed Miliband. I’m also covered on Harman in case she is the stand-in PM. I’ve also got a few quid on Tessa Jowell at 100/1 – can’t think why. My ideal scenario is for Gordon to go this year, Harman to become stand-in leader and PM while a leadership election takes place, and Reid or Cruddas to get the permanent job.
  • Mike Smithson

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