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Gordon Brown's government is characterized by its complete lack of a sense of direction. The first public sign of this was the presentation of re-vamped old ideas on housing being presented as new fare. The re-vamped ideas kept coming and only last week we had the same old plans for re-training the jobless. Plans that we know will not come to fruition. There is only one thing worse than a broken promise and thats a re-heated broken promise. This Labour government is completely bereft of any original thinking. It is burnt-out. Running on empty. It has no vision for the future and represents no future for the country.

"ComRes, YouGov, MORI and now ICM all have the Conservatives at 40% or more. We'll see if Populus echo the trend in the next few days."

Unfortunately Populus is the most Labour-friendly pollster of all - the mirror image of ComRes -they put Labour 1% ahead only a month ago. I wouldn't bank on it, but it will be interesting all the same. It would be a shame if other polling organisations don't carry out a survey as we speak - they're mostly dating back to last weekend.

Anyway, this is another encouraging poll. Labour on just 30% now! I wonder how much lower they will go. They may even be pushed into third place at some point in the next year.

The Milburn intervention is significant. Labour MPs are much slower to be disloyal than Tories. This isn't very coded.

The donargate scandal extends into new territory tonight. The Daily Mail have a report into donations of £830,000 in the past eight months received by Labour, from Iranian-born car dealer Mahmoud Khayami.

Alan S, yes, Gordon Brown has clearly lost the dressing room. There will be people in the Labour party who now see that Gordon Brown cannot win the next election. Can they remove him though or even force a resignation?

If enough people in the Labour party have the courage to be critical of Brown that pressure may be enough. If Brown is to be dethroned it has to be soon. However my feeling is that there are certain players in the Labour party who would be happy to lose the next election as it would give them an opportunity to advance their own position within the party.

Poll Trivia:

Brown only needs to drop 2 more points to take Labour to depths they have not reached since before 1987 in an ICM poll. They have returned to the levels of the Blair Government at its least popularity.

Conservatives have equalled their biggest lead (one poll last April) in an ICM poll since May 1992. 41% is also their equal highest rating (one poll last March) since 1992.

The Big Mo! (for anyone who has ever watched the West Wing!) Question: Polls looking good and I remember thinking when we were -11 in the polls that we "need a good scandal" to bring Brown down a peg or two and boy have we had them. BUT, what do we do no to keep the Big Mo, that is momentum, going? When this starts to die down we need a big policy announcement on the scale of IHT to once again sieze the iniative.... Thoughts?

Well jingle my jangles, it certainly is Christmas if you're a Tory.

Hitting the 40% mark now should be taken as read - the minimum expected. What is more interesting is the Labour vote, just hovering above the twenties now.

It's not so much the Big Mo for us, rather the big Heave-ho for Brown and his desperate party. Lets turn a negative Labour vote into a true positive Tory vote by rising above the current fray and continue to churn out new ideas like Gove and Herbert have been doing, so that the people of Britain can see which party is ready to govern again.

What plausible alternative do they have to Brown? Answer: no one, nor does the power structure within Labour lend itself to Tory-like leadership challenges.

The only way for Labour to get rid of Brown once and for all is by having him lose the next general election. And thus it will be. He is going to hang around for quite some time.

Milburn's comparison with Australia stirs the pot, but the main reason the Libs lost in Oz was not particularly a lack of ideas - Rudd was accused of a lot of me-twoism - but instead disloyalty from Costello and more importantly, longevity.

The Australian electorate simply called time after a decade f Liberal government.

You can see the the inescapable parallels. It'll take more than 'ideas' to get Labour's squidgy bits out of the fire.

A superb article from Vince Cable -- he really ought to be the Conservative Party. For that matter the Conservative Party needs to start showing some anti-establishment mettle as our editor says.

We are 11% ahead and would get a majority of 29. Labour got a majority of 60 when only 3% ahead. Is it good enough to shrug our shoulders and more or less say "that's life". Shouldn't we be yelling foul? And how about asking how it has come to this and, perhaps. wondering what influence the government has had on this perversion of democracy of which Mr Putin would be proud?

The majority would depend on Tactical Voting and the distribution of the vote in the main; The 2 main parties have both benefited since 1918 from the First Past the Post system, at the turn of the century the Liberal Party benefited winning a landslide on not actually that high a vote. In 1951 the Conservatives benefited winning a majority on 48% when Labour got 48.8% of the Popular Vote.

In 1974 certainly Labour benefited, with a different distribution the Conservatives could have won an overall majority.

If the above poll actually was the national figures for the next General Election then that could mean anything between a Hung Parliament with the Conservative Party the largest party, and a Conservative majority of over 100. Labour could have anything between 180 seats and 280 seats.

If the national figures for the last General Election repeated, but the Liberal Democrat vote concentrated, then the Liberal Democrats could end up gaining 30 seats and Labour might lose it's majority.

One way around this problem would be a kind of one party exective on a multi-member single constituency STV system - allow candidates to be entered any number of times - the condition being that each entry on the list should have 100 candidates, parties could then present the public with alternative options including one party government (possibly all one party or a mixture of members) and coalition. The condition being that each grouping entered on the list pay a £100,000 deposit.

If no grouping got 50%+ of the 1st preferences then preferences would be re-arranged until one grouping got 50%. The distribution of the vote would then be irrelevant to the final result and the 1st grouping would then form the executive. There could then be a couple of hundred MPs elected on an STV system using seperate constituencies (possibly some multi-member to allow for larger electorate sizes of rural constituencies). The executive then would rule with 2/3 of MPs voting against the executive needed to pass legislation against the wishes of the executive or block the executive from passing legislation.

Banning Trade Union donations to political parties and banning convicts and ex-convicts from voting could help reduce the Labour vote, I think it also desirable to ban corporate donations as in many cases small shareholders do not agree with how the company's money is spent, this would leave uncapped private donations only.

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