06 April 2009

The simple question for Labour now

So there is no G20 bounce for Brown.  The headline figure from the Populus poll are:

CON 43%(+1), LAB 30%(nc) LDEM 18%(-1)

Peter Riddell rightly concentrates in his analysis on the huge backlash over MPs expenses:

More than two thirds of voters think that all or a majority of MPs abuse their expenses and allowances. Some 27 per cent say that all or nearly all MPs abuse the system, and 42 per cent think that a majority of MPs do so. By contrast, 20 per cent say that “a majority of MPs do not abuse the system, but many do”, while just 8 per cent say that very few MPs do.

Working-class voters and Tory supporters are most inclined to say that most MPs abuse the system. Professionals and managers are most sympathetic to MPs over their allowances.

Anthony Wells in his analysis makes this point:

Finally, on the G20 itself we saw the same pattern as YouGov and ICM reported - the great majority of people were supportive, but there was very little enthusiasm. 74% of people had some degree of confidence that the measures would help the economy, but that was made up of only 8% who had a great deal of confidence and 66% with a “little confidence”. Figures were marginally higher on confidence that it would help the global economy recover (11% and 68%).

So what does the Labour Party do?  On the early evidence the change in the narrative has not worked.  Does the party now actively consider replacing Brown with Alan Johnson?   In the coming weeks this scenario, which I have posted about previously, may be seriously considered.

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  1. I'm not so sure.

    Will Brown want to go?

    Will everyone want to see Alan Johnson installed?

    What about Harperson and Milibland?

    I think there would be pressure from the grassroots (whatever is left) for a Conservative-style leadership contest, which would take a very long time.

  2. I don't know why anyone thinks Alan Johnson would be a good choice. Certainly compared to the rest he seems quite human but he bottled out of dealing with the public sector pensions and retirement age so doesn't seem likely to make the really hard choices we are facing and he has not been a notable success so far.

  3. I think the real crunch is going to come after the June elections. If it's as bad as people think for Labour then Brown will be forced into yet another re-launch. With the economic situation likely to get even worse - with unemployment rising, bankruptcies reaching record levels and a lot more folks losing their homes - this is going to be difficult for Brown to make any headway.

    But I also suspect we are past the point where Labour MPs think they have a real chance of winning the next general election outright and will settle for letting Brown and his attack dogs try to develop lines of attack on the Conservatives which paint them as baby-eating monsters who are really set on slashing the welfare state to the point that anyone who doesn't vote for them will have to live in a cardboard box and drink water from puddles. This might, just might, save enough seats to allow them to cling to power.

    You might think I'm exaggerating for effect but it ain't going to be pretty. Cornered dogs always act like cornered dogs.