The Blurrt worm has spoken:
UPDATE: ICM call it for Salmond 71% to 29%. Also known as a total thumping.
At the end of July Labour launched their summer offensive, drawing up the battle lines for next year with the catchy slogan: “The Choice: The Labour Future, The Tory Threat”. Well, after three weeks of shadow cabinet speeches up and down the country outlining “the choice” faced by voters, the people have spoken. YouGov’s poll for the Sun today sees the Tories draw level with Labour for the first time in three months, both parties on 35%. This confirms yesterday’s Ipsos Mori poll which also had both parties level. Labour are telling voters what “the choice” is, and the voters are making it…
John McTernan must surely be nearing peak McPangloss in The Scotsman this morning…
“…today, no-one has ever doubted Ed Balls’s brilliance. What no-one could anticipate was quite how brilliantly he would grow into his role.”
Guido likes McTernan, he has a dry wit, with a certain concentrated menace that lurks in his soul, eager to be released. His new self-appointed role as a panglossian Labour media cheerleader just doesn’t suit him. He just goes over the top and humiliates himself.
For example, just before the European elections he told nervous Labour loyalists to relax, they were going to win the Euros. UKIP convincingly won the Euros…
Claiming no one doubts Ed Balls’s brilliance and events have proved Balls right is just silly. Half the shadow cabinet have their doubts, Ed Miliband did not even want to give the job to Balls – giving it at first to Alan Johnson. Most importantly and in direct contradiction to McTernan’s central thesis, as the economy recovers sceptical voters doubt even more the supposed wisdom of Ed Balls and have increasing confidence in George Osborne:
Go back to attack, McPangloss, it is what you do, cheerleading just doesn’t suit you…
Lord Ashcroft’s latest constituency polling has UKIP in first place in two Tory held seats where Labour came second in 2010. Thurrock Tory MP Jackie Doyle-Price, who has a majority of just 92 in Thurrock, drops to third on 28%. In first place is UKIP’s Tim Aker, on 36%, well ahead of the Labour candidate, Ed Miliband’s carpet-bagging former SpAd Polly Billington, who is on 30%. Meanwhile in Thanet South, where Farage is expected to run, UKIP are first on 33%, with the Tories and Labour level pegging on 29%. The LibDems are almost wiped out in both constituencies, on 2% and 4% respectively. If Ashcroft is on the money, UKIP will have at least two MPs in 2015. They are not just hurting the Tories, but Labour too…
Ashcroft has released his weekly poll and the Tory number has jumped significantly. Why?
First of all nobody cares about Coulson’s conviction. The voters think they are all the same, Coulson, McBride, Baldwin – meh, whatever. So what is it? Economic growth, that is improving, not dramatically enough to cause a 5% jump. Last time Guido recalls a 5% move in a poll in a week was April 2009.
So it must be the Juncker effect, as much as Labour and their media allies try to paint the whole failure to block Juncker affair as a humiliation the voters don’t care (and nor incidentally do Tory MPs). Voters like handbag swinging in Europe.
Or it is a statistical aberration…
Today’s Standard brings encouraging news in the race to be Labour’s candidate for London mayor. Diane Abbott is now ahead of Tessa Jowell among Labour supporters, with 17% saying they want Diane to be their candidate compared to just 14% choosing Tessa. As you can see from the chart below, the party is spoilt for choice:
Guido offers his warm support for Diane’s candidacy…
Four days after the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards announced she would be launching an inquiry into Vince Cable’s failure to declare the Lord Oakeshott poll in his constituency as a gift, this entry appears in the Business Secretary’s Register of Interests:
Name of donor: Lord Oakeshott
Address of donor: private
Amount of donation or nature and value if donation in kind: conducting a local opinion poll, value £6,000
Donor status: individual
Tessa Munt has still failed to declare the poll in her constituency. Oops.
Researched published in the Guardian today confirms Labour’s bubble problem: half of the party’s candidates selected to fight marginal seats come from jobs in politics. 54% of Labour candidates in marginal and inherited seats have previously worked in politics or wonk world, compared with 46% of LibDem candidates and 17% of Tories. Created in the image of their leader…
The research finds that former or current staff of Ed Miliband, Yvette Cooper, Tessa Jowell, Ruth Kelly, Hazel Blears, Alistair Darling, Hilary Armstrong, Mary Creagh, Lord Foulkes, David Blunkett and Lord Sugar are all running, as are 15 ex-Labour MPs standing again, as readers will remember they include expenses piggies Joan Ryan and Andrew Dismore. They identified four Red Princes so far: Jack Straw’s son Will, Neil Kinnock’s son Stephen, former MP Colin Burgon’s son Richard and ex-MP Shona McIsaac’s husband Peter. They won’t be the last.
In 2012 Miliband championed a new Labour Party programme to find more working class MPs to try to address concerns that too many of the party’s candidates had backgrounds as researchers and SpAds, but as Bath University’s Dr Peter Allen says, “it is more a Labour problem” and it is not going away. An ICM poll finds 44% say they are fed up with careerist MPs who “look and sound the same“, indeed a Times/YouGov poll earlier this year found that not having had a “real” job outside of politics was the least attractive quality for candidates, with 55% saying it made them unsuitable for public office. Even Tony Blair said last year that there was a “problem” with MPs not working in normal jobs before entering politics. Might there possibly be a link between Ed Miliband spending his adult life in the bubble and the public’s perception of him as an out of touch weirdo?
Ed Miliband has hit his lowest ever personal rating by gold-standard pollsters ICM for the Guardian. The Labour leader has dropped 14 points in the last month to -39, below even Nick Clegg, who has a rating of -37. Cameron has lost last month’s positive rating of +2, dropping to -5, though Osborne has seen an increase in his own rating from +5 to +6.
The force is strong in that one.
Government Needs 10.6% Spending Cuts To Meet Target | IFS
What We Learned From the Referendum | FT
Scottish Crisis Moves South | Nick Wood
English Democrats Accidentally Celebrate Yes Victory | Pink News
Union In Its Current Form is Dead | Janan Ganesh
Labour Could Be Split in Two | Sun
Ashcroft Poll: Why Scotland Voted No | Buzzfeed
Boris: Change Barnett Formula | Sun
Cameron is Back | Dan Hodges
What Happens Now | James Kirkup
Cairo of the North | Quentin Letts
Diane Abbott on the Daily Politics:
“Labour MPs will unite behind Ed Miliband, once we find out what our policies are.”