August 2 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
On the face of it, the Populus poll carried in The Times today seems like it should be good news for Labour. It put the party 15 points ahead on 45pc, with the Tories hitting a new low on 30pc.
But there was a not so hidden sting in the results; despite the huge amount of dissatisfaction with the government, people still don’t like Ed Miliband.
When forced to choose between the two, 31pc wanted Miliband to replace Cameron at No10, but 60pc wanted Cameron to remain – a four point increase for the PM on a similar survey taken in June.
Of those wanting Cameron to stay 23pc said it was because they were happy with his performance. The other 37pc weren’t satisfied, but said they still preferred him in the top job to Miliband.
Labour might hide behind the headline figures, but this is a serious issue for them. A lot of people vote based on who they want as prime minister, and as it gets closer to an election voters will think more carefully about who they want for the future, rather then just acting on anger with the government.
That suggests that Labour’s lead will soften. Meanwhile the economy will start to recover at some point between now and 2015, which will also start to eat into the Labour lead.
It makes it all the more important for the Labour leader to make this year’s conference, while he has people’s ears, one in which he lays down a marker.
He needs to bring forward some solid policies that people can think about. Otherwise his opposition will continue to be based on his own personality and government unpopularity, neither of which will deliver his party electoral victory.