Was Rawnsley right to question Labour’s poll ratings?

Was Rawnsley right to question Labour’s poll ratings?

Have they little to do with the party or its leader?

Writing in his Observer column Andrew Rawnsley made this astute comment about Labour’s current poll ratings:-

“…… Labour’s rating has very little to do with anything that Labour or its leader are or aren’t doing. The polls are much more a function of voters reacting to the coalition and the cuts. No one is paying much serious attention to Labour, a state of affairs to which most of the frontbench are painfully adjusting after 13 years of expecting the world to hang on their every word. One member of the shadow cabinet wryly refers to himself as a spokesman for “the third most interesting party in Britain”. The attention of the media is inevitably concentrated on the Conservatives and the Lib Dems. Labour’s view, when it has one to offer, is often reported as merely an afterthought. Current poll positions tell us even less than usual about what the mood of the country will be by the time of the next election. The polls are mainly a referendum on the coalition. They are neither a good measure of true support for Labour nor any sort of reliable indicator of its long-term prospects of becoming a party of government again.

I think that there is something in this though it’s hard to back that up with data. We’ll see in a few weeks time how this operates in the Old & Sad by election. Has there been the huge swing to Labour that the polls suggest?

Mike Smithson

Comments are closed.