Remember the days when a hung parliament seemed a certainty?
With all the talk about Brown being ousted or stepping down I’ve just been asked by a journalist how I thought Labour would do in the polls if there was a different leader.
My starting point was the table above – the polls from the five months before Brown became leader and Prime Minister on June 27 2007.
Just looking at the actual numbers came as something as a shock for I thought that the Tories had been doing a touch better in that period and Labour a bit worse. In fact, as the table shows, in all but a couple or so of the surveys both Labour and the Tories were in the 30s – admittedly at different ends.
This was a period when received opinion was that we were heading for a hung parliament – the main issue was whether Labour or the Tories would end up with the most seats.
So what would happen if Brown fell on his sword or was ousted? Could Labour get back to the February – June 2007 levels? My view, as I told the journalist, was that there would be some improvement but not all the way back to those figures. I’d expect a Tory lead sufficient to secure a majority but not a landslide.
When pressed I said that in terms of seats I felt that a Brown-less Labour would hold onto to between thirty and fifty more seats.
As I’ve said before the uncertainty over the leadership has me kept out of the spread-betting markets since May.