Friday, 5 October 2007

Great Polls for Labour – Time to call an election

No I haven’t gone completely mad. I really do think these polls are just what Labour would have expected and make fairly good reading. Iain Dale yesterday said that the Tories may have a three point lead – well it is nothing of the sort. They are probably about 3 to 4 points behind Labour. Still, that is not exactly the 11 points they had a week or so ago. But it is not so much that the Tories have closed the gap that is surprising, but the Labour vote has held firm. It is the Tory vote that is fickle, not the Labour vote. Take the ICM poll – Labour are only down one point after a week when Brown was unanimously attacked for his opportunistic Iraq announcement and photo opportunity. The Tories are up 5% - in a week where the leader has given what as widely received as a good speech and there was the inheritance tax announcement this is on the upper end of very good. The Lib Dems are the ones who should be worried – their share has dropped 4% to 16%. The Tories have taken Lib Dem votes, not Labour votes and it is not clear that that will last. And ICM is the most generous to the Tories putting them level pegging with Labour. This poll is a worse case scenario and it still returns a Labour majority to the House of Commons.

Take the YouGov poll - Labour 40%, Tories 36%. That is genuinely good reading for Labour. On the back the best week the Tories have had since Brown came to power and they still lead by 4 points.

Brown has to go to the polls if he wants to keep face. He will be on the back foot for the next six months and on the run from Cameron if not. All it would then take is a downturn in the economy and he could be in serious trouble. I suspect Brown will ride out the weekend, hope the polls settle to a steady 4% lead and go to the polls on the 1st or 8th. That would return him a big enough majority – and would be better than Blair did last time. Even a 1% lead would give him in the region of a 20 seat lead.

If he wants to finish off Cameron then he has to go now. I am just not sure the man has the nerve – and there is the problem, if he doesn’t go he is a weaker leader for it. Do you feel lucky Mr Brown? Well do ya?

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