Tuesday, September 18, 2012

labour leadership (oh, and boris!)

I’ve been depressed (and, in some ways, amused) to read the results of the recent YouGov poll.
Somewhat predictably, on the back of his Olympic “surge”, Boris Johnson (not-so-much-a-politician-more-a-showman?) comes out as the UK’s most “respected” politician (plus 25%), compared with David Cameron (minus 18%), Ed Milliband (minus 29%) and Nick Clegg (minus 52%!). You might be encouraged to learn that Michael Gove and George Osborned scored minus 40% and minus 53% respectively!
Are you keeping up with all these figures?
Well, here’s a few more:
Charisma: Johnson 56%, Cameron 21%, Clegg 11% and Milliband 3%.
Strength: Johnson 26%, Cameron 11%, Milliband 5% and Clegg 3%.

Predictably, at this mid-term point and in the light of the dire economic situation, the Labour Party (42%) is well ahead of the Conservatives (31%) in the polls – I don’t think the LibDems will count in the next General Election (but who knows?!). Depressingly, there are signs that the Tories are moving even more to the right, politically (eg. recent cabinet re-shuffle and this article by Polly Toynbee). What worries me about all this is not all the talk about Johnson taking over from Cameron (unlikely in the short-term at least, but I can see it happening); it’s Ed Milliband’s standing in the eyes of the electorate and the prospects of him becoming the next prime minister.
At best, I think even the most charitable critic would describe Milliband’s performances as Leader of the Opposition as “steady”. My own opinion would be rather less generous – “nice bloke but lightweight, ineffective, unconvincing and possessing very few leadership qualities”, perhaps?
As the next General Election approaches, and if Milliband (junior) is still leader, I think there is every likelihood that many of those tempted to vote Labour, might have second thoughts and, hey presto, we’ll have another Tory government (without the “help” of the LibDems this time!)… and probably one with a hard-line right wing agenda.
How depressing would that be?!

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