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Poll suggests Alan Johnson could stop Cameron winning majority

BrownVJohnson A ComRes poll for tomorrow's Independent suggests that Alan Johnson could close the Tory-Labour opinion poll gap from 16% to 10% and deny David Cameron a working parliamentary majority.

Those Labour supporters tempted by the poll's logic have to consider whether it captures the underlying reality of the situation, however.  Three immediate questions I'd suggest:

  • The poll assumes a simple switch but the process of replacing Brown with Johnson could be far from simple.  If the leadership change was a bloody affair the 6% shift could be quickly overwhelmed.
  • Is there a novelty factor here? Voters may like the idea of a new leader but the effect may be very temporary.
  • Would Alan Johnson's ratings be as high once the Tory onslaught had begun?  Tory strategists don't believe that the new Home Secretary would withstand sustained scrutiny.

This opinion poll is interesting but I'm not revising the ConHome swing-o-meter.

The table below summarises how opinion polls might shift if other leading Labour figures replaced Brown:

Picture 1 Tim Montgomerie

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