Is now the moment for a female Labour leader?
There are two big trends being featured in almost all of the polling: Firstly that Ed Miliband’s personal ratings remain dreadful and it’s hard to see how, given the importance of leaders in determining election outcomes, that his party could win with him at the helm.
At the same time Cameron and the Tories continue to have problems appealing to women voters. In both the leader ratings and voter intention almost every survey has men doing better with the blues/Dave than women. Thus the Wednesday YouGov daily poll has the Tories 3% ahead amongst the men sampled but 10% behind with the women.
All this must, surely, strengthen the position of the 3/1 favourite for next Labour leader, Yvette Cooper, whose chances were helped at last month’s conference when Ed Balls, said he would be backing his wife if there was to be a contest. The big question is whether the reds feel emboldened to try to replace EdM ahead of the 2015 general election.
I wonder whether Cameron’s woman trouble might just help to tip the balance – for it makes a Cooper leadership that bit more attractive to the party.
Yvette Cooper’s whole demeanour seemed to change after the Ed Balls comment. The picture above shows a smile that we’ve not often seen before. She’s less hectoring and more confident. You could see her, as leader of the opposition, being a lot more tricky for David Cameron to deal with than the incumbent.