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Bring back Blair!


13% ahead is undeniably good and Labour are clearly in freefall - but at the risk of being a Jeremiah every time Labour drops our lead increases but our share of the vote stays the same... ergo we are still bleeding votes to the minor parties, 15% currently.

Is anyone researching who the 'stay away' Tories are and what their might motivate them? Or are we just going to continue with the untested idea that loads of LD voters are teetering on the edge of switching to us?

It will be below 25% after todays clunking debacle over yet more sleaze and cash for? He really is a clunking fist, keeps smacking himself in the good eye!!

I miss Tony!

Labour need to get rid of Gordon Brown if their backbenchers want to keep their jobs. Today Gordon Brown was spouting the same old nonsense about getting people into work. Funny because the other day he told us we had full employment! The man is a liability and is like a dog chasing its tail, around and around he goes, yet he gets exactly nowhere.

Ouch, that has got to hurt for Labour! Anyone know the last time ComRes had the Labour poll rating that low?

If Labour get nervous and plot against Brown, it'll get very, very messy. Brown is their only 'big beast', who will stand up to him? Any overthrow could be protracted and bloody; internecine on a scale as yet unseen in British politics in modern times. Could put Labour out for a generation.

Ed Balls is a facetious little dwarf with little intelligence. He is an ignorant bully. He'd be great for us as Labour leader: Cameron would have him for breakfast every time. Balls is Kinnock without the fire.

Miliband is barely on top of his current brief. Lightweight.

Lets face it, Labour's cupboard is as bare as it could possibly be.

If this poll is correct I am over the moon. This day has been terrific for the Conservative Party, especially given the fact that we have had a MEP from the Liberal Democrats join us, a resignation from the Labour Party general secreatary over the donations round and Brown getting a grilling from participants at the CBI in Islington.

If this keeps going and add to it strong campaigning in the target seats by the Conservative Party then victory should be assured.

I do NOT miss Tony! :)

However, he was a better Prime Minister than Brown by far.

A lot of people have said they might ditch Gord, and yet I just don't see it. They kept Kinnock for two terms, they never pulled the trigger on Blair, they almost always plump for the heir-apparent. Even if they wielded the knife tonight, the new leader would have barely 2 years before being forced into a general election, and would inherit a party that's sticky with blood and rife with division. They'd be admitting that the architect of their so-called economic miracle was useless, and disavowing him.

And that's before you ask "who?" Would the party really plump for a Blairite candidate months after having ended Blair? Is there a serious appetite for risking a 'lurch to the left'? And if they just want a Brownite with better PR than Brown -- where's the better alternative? Douglas Alexander, widely fingered for the NotElection debacle?

Cameron's polls are dipping marginally again, but then, he's been out of the news for the most part during the economic crises. And that's as it should be -- don't interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake. Also, it's important to learn the lessons of Brown's non-election; talking Brown down too much too soon is counter-productive because the media will champion him for a comeback. I continue to have confidence in the strategy of Team Cameron.

Seriously though, how low can they go before Brown is toppled? What was the lowest the Tories ever got to in the 80/90s?

Do not rejoice too loudly.

There is much hard work still to do.

Uniform swing gives Labour 224 seats - that's pretty much Michael Foot-esque.

'Others' is tremendously high.

Edison Smith:

Only once in Comres's short existence as a recognised pollster. 22nd April this year just before the Council Elections when the Labour Party polled 27%.

"What was the lowest the Tories ever got to in the 80/90s? "

I think we hit 19% at one stage.

Labour can't get rid of Gordon: the rules make it too difficult. Even if they did manage to do it there would be "blood on the carpet" in No.10, Parliament and Labour HQ, not just the Ministry Of Defence. They would be terrified of the "Thatcher" effect.
The only possibilty is that he falls on his sword and does the "right thing"????
Even so who takes over. Doug Alexander?Milliband? Harriet? BALLS! An old Blairite such as Milliband [Alan]? It would have to be. The only big gun left is Jack Straw and Political Betting are suggesting there are reasons why he won't be a runner.

What we need now that we're doing so well is Iain Dale's brilliant idea of a vote on EU membership. Any other great ideas, Iain, so that we can risk our lead?

I guess Labour's last hope is that Cameron reneges on his pledge to hold a referendum on the EU constitution post-ratification, sparking open warfare within the party.

ComRes tend to have a rather higher vote for "others" than other pollsters. Their methodology also tends to produce a higher figure for the Conservatives at the expense of other parties. With the same raw data, ICM would have put the LibDems on 20% as opposed to the 21% they gave them on Sunday. And other pollsters wouldn't have given us such a big lead.

Having said that, this is an excellent poll for us. And the bad news keeps on coming for the government. As long as we don't get complacent or start sounding triumphalist, things are looking good.

This is excellent news, it means that we can now be confident without being arrogant, and radical without being devisive.

It is surely time to step up our game. If we are to succeed we must learn lessons from labour in the 90s, the most important of which is to not regard them as 'the goverment' but rather a group of spoiled children that have lost all contact with reality.

Unfortunatly our party does not yet seem to be the 'government in waiting', but I am confident cameron will take us from 'effective opposition' to 'goverment in waiting within the next couple of months.

I love the smiling Tony Blair on the homepage!


He doesn't have to do it in the next couple of months. According to Jack Straw, he has two and a half years.

Have had a trip down memory lane to look at September 07. We need to keep this in perspective but the transformation has been remarkable. With all its shortcomings, no one could have forseen we would be at this point [or Brown at his] in a few weeks .
Any one heard fromm TT? Cleo? Effie?

This is the biggest Conservative lead in any poll for 19 years. Something to smile broadly about. It feels so good.

Edison Smith, you are right that cupboard is bare. Labour have put so much faith in Blair/Brown that they have become complacent and have not planned for the future. A bit like a successful football team that stops signing new players. What's more Labour is no longer seen as the party of the young, those twenty-something voters can remember nothing but Labour and now want change. The Labour party needs to be relegated in order to re-group and try and find a winning team again, Labour are stale and out-of-date.

Dale, you have a good point. Currently Britain does not have government! All we get from stumbling Labour is ever more damage as they crash around like a drunk in a china shop trying to find a way out. Still, the more damage they do the greater the scale of their defeat at the next election. A chance to get more of the right type of people elected.

IF they replaced Brown, which they won't - this is one poll after all, it would have to be D. Miliband. He is still too inexperienced and would get mauled before his time. Note that I didn't say young, he's old enough despite have a perma-tache - but genuinely seems indecisive on even the simplest matters.

It is interesting to see the rise of the Others... I'd like to see how the votes are spread. I'm hoping the greens will start to become the third Party of England so we no longer have to deal with Janus-faced Liberal Democrats!

This is marvellous, but we need other polls to follow suit.

UK Elect gives a healthy Conservative majority of 76.

Important gains: Thurrock, Chorley, Carlisle, Stockton South.

We should be 23 points ahead soon if Guido's latest scoop bears fruit...

" If we are to succeed we must learn lessons from labour in the 90s, the most important of which is to not regard them as 'the goverment' but rather a group of spoiled children that have lost all contact with reality"

However you choose to regard them, it doesn't alter the fact that they ARE the government, and will remain so for some time yet. I think it's extremely likely that this parliament will run its full term, to summer 2010. Plenty of time for Brown to make way for Miliband. (There is no way in a million years Balls will come anywhere near the premiership - he may be Brown's favourite, but Mandelson was Blair's and he was never a serious runner with the Labour party.)

The charge of "lightweight" and "too young" doesn't really work against Miliband I'm afraid - he is both older and more experienced in government than Cameron.

Effie will still be swearing blind that Gordon will be whipping our butts because all the mining communities will never forget Thatcher.

TradT will no doubt moan about how crap 40% is and with Brown in this much trouble now is clearly the time to ditch Cameron, get Tebbit in and claim the 80% of the vote we should claim by right.

Although they do both add to the gaiety of life - remind me where the poles actually are.

Do we actually believe 27%? I don't. I think we are starting to enter the territory where people are ashamed to admit they would vote Labour. While this is a very good sign in some ways (in as much as it tells you something about the underlying mood in the country) it means that I wouldn't trust these polls as an indicator in an election.

As for us on 40%: I think those who have pointed out that Cameron has been keeping a low profile are close to the money. Cameron has shown he has the ability to bring in the support when it really matters so let him plug away with his strategy of slowly putting flesh on his policies while Labour chase their own tails (although, of course, it would be rude not to attack them when they screw up really badly).

Vernon, it is interesting that Labour are now talking in interviews about two and a half years before the next election. They have clearly set their minds towards hanging-on in the hope of some miracle. To quote Simon Wiesenthal:

"First people promise miracles...then they wait for miracles"

This is becoming electoral death by a thousand cuts!

Political Betting have confirmed the story with the Independent also pointed out this is the biggest Conservative Lead since January 1988

I don't want them to ditch Gordon Brown! Less suggestion of the sort pls. New pms *always* get a honeymoon. We want Gordon in place.

Terrific choice of front page photo!

I don't miss Tony Blair, but I think that many Lanour Backbenchers do.

They have clearly set their minds towards hanging-on in the hope of some miracle.

Something the Tory party knows nothing about - eh, Mr Major?

Tony Makara is right though - it doesn't do you much good in the long run, usually makes the defeat worse.

That's why the Conservatives should be very careful about wishing for power in the near future. The next election is like 1992 in reverse - it is the one to lose.

If Cameron comes to power too soon, he'll eventually get the blame for the economic pain of the next few years (people will say, "things were more or less OK for 10 years until the Tories took over"). Labour will then get back in after 4-5 years, and the Tory reputation for poor economic management will be reinforced.

Much better to let Brown back this time with a slim majority, or none at all, so that he can sort out his own mess, leaving Cameron to win big in 2012 (or thereabouts).

"What we need now that we're doing so well is Iain Dale's brilliant idea of a vote on EU membership. Any other great ideas, -"

Yes .

A referendum in England on an English pariament - just like Scotland's

- will get massive support .

OMG this is looking serious. :(

"Bring back Blair!"

That won't happen but I do wonder if he should have served a full 3rd term as promised, with the leadership changing in late 08 for a spring 09 election.

The only thing that concerns me is that we are struggling to decisively break through the 40pc barrier.
I suppose time is on our side?

On the Scottish dimension, the 'Others' at 15% confirms my view that the SNP will keep all of their current seats and stand in good stead to pick up significant numbers in Labour heartlands. It will be a clash of the titans between Labour and the Nats. Uniform swing would give 30 others, this would see the SNP returning to late 1970s numbers of MPs. Scotland is politically incredibly insular, even for Westminster elections, in fact I get the feeling that Holyrood elections generate more interest in the general public if not the press. We are recovering partially in places and Annabel is doing constructively well in the Scottish Parliament but the rate of recovery is too slow and is not even comparable to England. For us I think this might spell disaster once again in Scotland. Cameron has consistently polled less than 20% approval north of the border and I think we will be marginalised as the nationalists will leap to a challenging 2nd in a huge swathe of seats.

But still extremely encouraging reading in UK sense. Keep it up.

This also means that labour are only 9 points clear of the LibDems. The way things are going that gap will close. Apparently there is a fourth donor hiding in the shadows and Guido has some very disturbing news for Gordon.

Thank you Steve. I've added a link to Guido's story to the homepage.

Could we have a debate on ways to revive Conservative fortunes elsewhere in the UK then England? It would be timely and could lead to some interesting ideas coming forward.

Splendid of Guido to highlight this hilarious about-face by one Trevor Kavanagh:

(Monday, July 23rd)

“Gordon Brown is going to win—and win big. In the process he will likely set Labour up for a fifth term and 20 unbroken years of socialism.

Today his regular Monday Sun column says definitively

“Gordon will never govern in his own right as an elected Prime Minister.”



Check Guido's post below the one you have linked to.

The Labour funding scandals past and present should serve as a warning for when the Conservative party returns to government. Hopefully this sort of thing will not be allowed to happen again, lessons will need be learnt. The way Labour have behaved has not only damaged their credibility but has also damaged the political process.

I don't think this 27% figure for Labour is correct - it's a snapshot after a crisis, and 15% for Others isn't credible.

Ironically, the 1% fall in the Tory share to 40% may at least indicate we are stable around 40.

We need to hold around 40/41, then try to extend it to the 43-45 figure next year.

The recent Oz election won't have done Labour nerves much good either.

If there was a serious contender to replace Brown he'd be in more trouble.

But seriously, who?

The most frequent comment I am hearing now is, "how can we stand another 2 years of this incompetent bunch of (expletive)"

Joe James Broughton, on newsnight just now Michael Crick said most of this poll was done before Labour's 'latest' funding scandal.

An asute friend of mine has always said that Brown will end up as "tail end Charlie" the voters will see through nulabs smoke and mirrors, and the conservatives will gain power after a hung parliament, then from 2011 ish, wil govern for 13/14 years or so. It is fascinating to see his analysis bearing fruit.

If there was a serious contender to replace Brown he'd be in more trouble.

But seriously, who?

Hilary Benn will succeed Brown in spring 2009. He will call an election shortly afterwards and win, although only narrowly. He will then form a coalition with the LibDems, appointing their leader Nick Clegg as Home Secretary.

Northernhousewife - Any one heard fromm TT? Cleo? Effie?

I don't normally intrude when the dear sweet little Tribe is freaking out bigtime over some wildly swinging poll figures, but since you invoke my name I might remind you that the only poll that counts is a very long way off.

Any chance of you adopting an ID which might encourage people to take you seriously?

Ephraim - Hilary Benn is a good call, and thinking about it is the only one seemingly able, and untarred by the past. Unlike Miliband or Balls, one can imagine Benn as a leader of a political party - though one in opposition, not government.

What odds on Hilary Benn as leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition by July 2009?

Why not Tony Benn?
He certainly couldn't done much worse than Gordon.

Scott@22:15, slowly the Conservatives have been climbing up the polls by 1% point at a time over the last 6 months. Considering we have been languishing at rock bottom for so long this is an encouraging sign. While some have been writing the obituary for the Scottish party on this site, the leadership have been producing a solid performance in Holyrood which neatly slots in with the excellent performance of the Westminster party in recent months.

I am no expert on the polls, and I am sure that those who are will correct the following suggestion. Up until about 2 months ago I think that Labour could rely on pretty stable and solid polling figures in Scotland and Wales, although there was strong 4th party support for the SNP and Plaid in Holyrood and the Welsh Assembley respectatively, it did not substantially impact on their Westminster vote.
But although I agree with John Ionides about increased shyness from Labour voters, I think they have hit a damaging tipping point in Scotland since the bottled GE, don't underestimate just how damaging their recent woes have been up here. The traditionally strong Libdems are also taking a big hit in Scotland.
It all helps with the long term recovery of the Conservatives, no I am not predicting sweeping gains for our party at the next GE, but rather the possibility of a useful 2-5 seats.

All of the very latest polls show much the same thing. Tories steady - Lib Dems picking up a bit and Labour slumping TO THE "OTHERS" . What we none of us know because we haven;t checked them, is what has happened to the "Won 't Vote"s to the "Will vote but won't say for whom"s neither of which are in the reported figures at all. To this must be added the minor parties and the avowed "Don't Knows" .

I'll try and do this and report if I get a moment but it's hard on the eyes!!!

All the stats are on the ComRes website here:


If you can make head nor tail of all 10 pages of that statistician's wet dream, you're a better man/woman than I!

I agree with Scotty's point about the Scottish party putting up a good performance in the Holroyd Parliament. In the debates I've tuned into, it is clear that the main opposition is coming from Annabel Goldie, who makes refreshingly down to earth and factual contributions, and her colleagues.

In May this year, there were some better results there, in the Parliamentary and local elections - if they target seats ruthlessly they can do better.

The Lib Dems are the fourth party in votes, and very much on the sidelines.

Excellent news, although I couldn't help noticing that we don't seem to be picking up enough of those who are deserting Labour. Indeed we were down 1 percentage point. Therefore still much work to do. Having said this, great news and I agree with Andrew James (2106) that we need this lead to be shown in other polls too.

BTW, reading some of the early posts,
I think we can take Stockton South on an above average swing anyway. [Not that it is certain of course].

The "others" are:

Green - 4%
SNP - 4%
UKIP - 2%
Plaid Cymru - 1%
BNP - 1%
Other - 3%

Looking at the detailed figures, it looks like 15% of those polled said they would definitely not vote in a general election and a further 6% said they were unlikely to vote. Putting lots of figures together (and maybe getting it wrong), I think around 8% of those who said they would vote failed to state a preference. I can't see anything in the 39 page report that tells us how many of the 8% said they don't know how they will vote and how many refused to say.

I think we hit 19% at one stage.
Opinion polls on voting intention are little better than tea leaves, 19% for the Conservative Party really is nothing more than a fairy tale for the entertainment of Socialist Worker Party activists, such figures had little actual relevance to reality, with the possible exception of the 1940s and the early 1950s there has never been a time when Labour would have got more than 50% of the vote in a General Election.

I expect next years elections will actually be not as bad for Labour as those of 2006 and 2007, they may even make some net gains in Local Government.

The General Election is 1.5 years off, I still expect Labour will win a majority, although it may be that the Liberal Democrats will hold more of the support it has gained off Labour since 1997 than had previously seemed likely and the Conservatives will make gains in votes and seats.

Respect and the Scottish Socialist Party being largely wrecked will give some satisfaction and comfort to Labour, as they tended to take votes off Labour without actually getting much to show for it.

UKIPs attempted relaunch has not been as successful as it had hoped, however it could popup and take a parliamentary seat and the possibility of UKIP emerging as the largest block of MEPs in the British section is a possibility at the next EU elections.

Why not Tony Benn?
He certainly couldn't done much worse than Gordon.

As a diarist he is no threat, as a political leader his views suddenly have to be examined seriously, the fact is that if Labour had been lead by Tony Benn in the early 1980s, they would have done worse than under Michael Foot, the party would have been more united as more members and MPs left, but at the cost of Labour getting fewer votes and fewer seats.

The thought of a government lead by Tony Benn in 1983 would have driven up Conservative turnout and defections to the Alliance. The Conservatives could have won more than 50% of the vote and a much bigger majority and the Alliance could have ended up as Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.

If Tony Benn lead Labour now he would probably lead them to a historic defeat that would be their heaviest since 1918.

In the 1980 Labour leadership campaign, probably Peter Shore would have been likely to have been the most successful at the following General Election as Labour leader, with Dennis Healey the next most successful.

Labour could have held their position in the 1983 General Election under a leader other than Michael Foot or Tony Benn.

If Dennis Healey or Peter Shore had won that leadership election, or John Smith had stood and won they quite possibly would have been PM from 1987 or 1988.

Incapability Brown is in a mess but it is largely a mess of his own making and we should bear his distress with equanimity. The mess that he and Blair have caused to the country runs deeper and will take a long time to sort out.

Editor, I have suggested several times on other threads that the tories should now be turning towards the nitty-gritty of real government.

Could we not focus discussion on what we believe the tories should be doing (quite apart from getting the election machine cranked up) in getting groups of specialist advisers ready and briefed to see how in practice tory policies can be translated into almost immediate action once we take over from this shambolic lot?

We need to find out whether we could draft our own Human Bill of Rights to take over from the EHRA, we need to know how to regenerate the civil service, we need to know if red tape can be slashed in practice, whether localism will work effectively on the ground etc.

At the moment these are only (good) ideas.

Why anybody would consider voting for Labour under Gordon Brown defeats me. How on earth do they manage to stump up 27%?

'Any chance of you picking up an ID which might encourage people to take you seriously'-Traditional Tory.You really don't do irony do you TT? Have you any idea at all what a joke you are?

Brown isnt going to be replaced after less than a year in power. Lets be sensible here. He will just ride it out. Hes going through a rough patch, as Cameron has done since hsi election. This is normal in the ebb and flow of national poltiics.

It would be better if Brown stayed exactly where he is until the election. The knives are already out inside the party and the sight of New Labour hacking themselves to death as Brown stumbles from one inept cock up to the next for another two years should reduce their poll figures to less than 5%.

Wonderful entertainment.

What was that James Brown song?
I feeeeeeeeeeeel good.....
Gordon Brown is a disaster. England need new leadership. Or she will become like her footbal team.
A huge joke.

Thanks David (0956). I'll try and oblige soon. Although please see point three of this post.

Thank you, Tim; yes, that is an excellent step in the right direction but you will see from the examples I suggested, I would like work to start on planning greater efficiency on the part of those who carry out tory government policy.

I agree though that we still have to get there first but things are now beginning to look very promising.

Ok Edison Smith @0001- You've driven me to it!

Of the total sample 22% were discarded as "Definite non voters etc and therefore all the remaining figures start from 78% of the original

Then in that 78% there were 15% don't knows and 9% who refused to answer the party preference question. That means that the party preferences shown were on 59% of the original sample.

That implies a lower turnout than we've had to date and all these "dustbin" categories are likely to shrink somewhat but to whose benefit?
The Tories incidentally were much stronger with men than women on this sample. It seems Gordon Brown has offended something in the male psyche because it surely can't be women attracted to Brown - PLEASE!

We need to have a sustained lead of over 10% through the winter months for us to have any chance of getting rid of Livingstone - that should be the No.1 priority for us in London.

Livingstone has polarised London, ridden rough shod over the councils in vandalising the landscape, presided over a bloated administration. During the last mayoral elections in 2004 we just had a change in leadership and also had the advantage of Livingstone being readmitetd to the Labour Party. Hopefully this time there are no such advantages.

All our efforts should be concentrated on identifying and GTVO come May the 1st and we will have Boris in City Hall.

Was it Blair who declaimed "Après moi le déluge"?

No? Well, it seemingly should have been!

The latest polls put "Others" on fourteen per cent. But time was when the BBC could only bring itself to call UKIP "Others" and leave the matter there even when it took more votes than the Lib Dems. So, who are these "Others"? I think we should be told.

And, as ever, somewhere between thirty-four and thirty-eight per cent of respondents, or possibly even more these days, have been discounted for headline purposes because they are determined not to vote for anyone, since there is no one for them to vote for.

Well, what if somebody gave them someone to vote for? There's time yet.

Even Michael Foot managed a better share of the vote than the level of support Gordon Brown is getting at the moment.
I wonder how much lower it can go?

Even Michael Foot managed a higher number of MPs than Michael Howard managed at the last election.
And Foot's result was at the nadir of Labour's fortunes after four years of Thatcher, while Howard's was supposedly a comeback after eight years of Blair.
It took Labour another 14 years to recover from their low point.
Still a long way to go, I fear.


David Lindsay @1641 _ You HAVE been told by Peter Harrison @0049,

In addition I went to a lot of trouble @ 1256 to analyse the WHOLE poll - ruining my eyesight in the process.

I don't think I'll bother again

RE: 'Irrational' Tory

Thank you Malcolm. You are a sweetie.

Yes but Vernon, I think that's a measure of how biased the constituency boundaries have been against the Tories.
Labour's share of the vote in 1983 (27.6%) was lower than the Tories in 1997 (30.7%), and the gap in votes was also larger in 1983 (14.8%) than in 1997 (12.5) - yet the Labour landslide was bigger in terms of seats.


Labour's share of the vote in 1983 (27.6%) was lower than the Tories in 1997 (30.7%), and the gap in votes was also larger in 1983 (14.8%) than in 1997 (12.5) - yet the Labour landslide was bigger in terms of seats.
A combination of factors, including the fact that the Liberal Democrat vote since 1992 has been much more concentrated than the Alliance vote was, or the Liberal vote was before that, so they pickup more seats than before - although far fewer votes in total in what was a lower turnout election, the percentage of the popular vote of 2005 was 22.3% compared to 25.5% for the Alliance in 1983, but with 40 more seats. Since the 1960s Labour has benefited from people gaining wealth leaving the cites for the country, many still keeping their voting habits, thus meaning smaller urban electorates and bigger more marginal rural ones.

Labour turnout in safe seats is prone to drop substantially as well, Labour voters are much less likely to turn out if they think that the seat is won anyway. Also in Scotland and much of Wales the Conservatives have a lot of votes, just not enough to win seats - even in 1983, Labour was holding seats in urban areas in the South as well as the industrial areas to the north.

Labour are a bit favoured by the fact that electorate sizes in Scotland and Wales are slightly smaller than those in England because of the feeling of a need to take geographical area into account as well as size of the electorate.

Those points are correct.
The low turnouts in safe Labour seats (particularly after 1992) certainly means the total Labour vote across the country doesn't need to be as large to win as what the Tories need (who still get reasonable turnouts in their safe seats).

Many Labour MPs are now elected on just 17,000 or 18,000 votes in rock solid seats, compared to about 20,000 for some losing candidates in marginals.

Now one could argue that some of this non voting is still basically Labour people, and if they did turn out, the Tories would have been several points further behind nationally.

But at the end of the day, these people have refused to come out and vote over a pretty sustained period at a time when one might have expected them to be motivated to do so when their party was winning nationally.

Yes but Vernon, I think that's a measure of how biased the constituency boundaries have been against the Tories.

It's not that it's biased against the Tories, our ridiculously out of date electoral system is or has been biased against all the major parties at some point in recent decades - particularly the Liberals, but also Labour.

We need electoral reform.

The recent Oz election won't have done Labour nerves much good either.
Just noticed the above comment. I don't see why the election of a Labor government in Australia should make any difference to Gordon Brown or George W. Bush, or any other government in the world.

On international policy the Australian Labor leadership is committed to continuing the policies of John Howard. There are some differences on domestic policy, the Australian Labor Party is more Social Democratic than the Australian Liberal Party, although there isn't really n equivalent of the British Labour Party in Australia.

So far as Hilary Benn succeeding Gordon Brown, I can't see it really, indeed Gordon Brown might well seek to continue in opposition and lead Labour back into government if Labour lost. Jim Callaghan could have held on as Leader of the Opposition and lead Labour into the 1983 General Election.

If Gordon Brown were to go in 2009 or 2010 I imagine that it would be a younger person who took over the leadership, not someone of 55-60 odd.

Ed Balls would be the most likely successor, however David Miliband, Caroline Flint and a number of up and coming younger Labour MPs would all be posible leaders.

Hilary Benn has already rather botched the Deputy Leadership campaign.

The beeb still has this up

Have a bit of fun and see who would be on the political trash heap if Mr Trousers called the election tommorrow

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