More evidence of the public’s dislike of disunity

Further proof that the actions of Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt has emerged today following the latest Populus poll which shows a Tory lead of 15 points.

Further proof that the actions of Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt have damaged the Government emerged today following the latest Populus poll for this morning’s Times, which shows the Conservatives on 42 per cent and Labour on 27 per cent – figures which, if repeated at the election, could see the Tories end up with a healthy Commons majority of 60.

The real impact of the disloyalty shown by Hoon and Hewitt, and disunity in general, however, can be gauged in the change in Labour support from the previous month, down 3 per cent – the first fall in the Populus rating since June 2009, the last time an attempt was made to topple the Prime Minister. Labour had risen 7 percentage points from June to December.

It has also been the most damaging of the three coup attempts, the other two, May/June 2009 and September/October 2008 having seen falls of only 1 percentage point. More evidence that disunity also benefits Labour’s opponents comes from the month-on-month increase in Tory support – up 4 per cent, their biggest rise in this series since a six-point rise in October 2008.

Among other headline figures from today’s poll are the respondents’ answers on how they perceive the two main party leaders and the Conservatives’ marriage tax proposals.

By 64%-26% voters believe Gordon Brown is “on the side of ordinary people”, while the ratio for David Cameron is 50%-42% believing he is “on the side of rich people”.

On the Tories’ marriage tax plans – which Left Foot Forward examined last week – 57 per cent of the public think it “would be unfair” for government to promote marriage through the tax system compared to 40 per cent who think government “should actively promote and encourage marriage”.

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12 Responses to “More evidence of the public’s dislike of disunity”

  1. Jay Baker

    RT @leftfootfwd: The detrimental impact of disunity. How the attempted coup damaged Labour. http://bit.ly/6sAtpy

  2. Darrell

    The last figures show that there is a way back for Labour…I am not a big fan of the voter view of disunity on this one but your right it is damaging for Labour….

  3. Paul Slatter

    Price of disunity: how attempted coup damaged Labour. http://bit.ly/6sAtpy from @leftfootfwd <- I always been a fan of disunity, myself.

  4. Max Atkinson

    Disunity is certainly damaging, with or without the latest numbers – witness the 18 years in opposition Labour suffered after Benn & co made out that they’d lost the 1979 election for not pursuing policies that were left-wing enough. But what eventually saved the party in the longer term was that the disunity became so extreme and so persistent that it gave birth to the SDP, which gave birth to a return to sanity via Kinnock, Smith and Blair – and revival as ‘New Labour’ (i.e. new name for SDP).

    But Brown stopped using the words ‘New Labour’ more than five years ago, at the height of his briefings against Blair (see http://maxatkinson.blogspot.com/2008/09/wisdom-of-forethought.html) and must be one of the few people in the country who’s surprised that so many people hold such deep resentment against him for plotting so openly and flagrantly against the most successful winner of elections the party has ever had.

    When he backed out of calling an immediate election in October 2007, I was baffled that he’d opted to become the next Callaghan – i.e. an unelected PM who held on too long and lost an election he might have won if he’d gone for it earlier.

    It now looks as though the party’s best hope is that the defeat will be a narrow one that will be quickly followed by an heir to Blair who’ll be able to save the New Labour mission from sinking into another 18 years of opposition – and, for reasons outlined earlier today, I’d say that the best hope is for Andy Burnham to become leader when Brown has shuffled off his electoral coil – http://bit.ly/6PiP26

  5. Red

    I am really sorry to be pedantic, but I am increasingly annoyed by phrases such as ‘x% of the public think/say’, when the poll in question has such limited scope. Just because 60% of those polled say so, it is not a logical necessity that this reflects the public at large.

    Yes, I am being pedantic and I am sorry, but it does appear that much of the political/media arena talks of it as if it does.

    A poll conducted by, say, The Sun or The Times for its readers, is not reflective of ‘the public’, but merely those readers who answered that particular poll. Hold the same poll in two different papers, you’ll get different answers.

    This is by no means a stab at this article or the author, or a Left Foot Forward problem, nor a left problem; just a general one of politics/media. I simply just reached tipping point at this moment in time and needed an outlet to be a nuisance.

    Am I being too pedantic? Probably. Maybe I just need a smoke.

    [Left Foot Forward is a truly wonderful thing, by the way]

  6. Billy Blofeld

    Shamik,

    So a mere 73% of the population can’t stand Labour and would like the government removed.

    Heady days indeed for wanna be progressives everywhere. As an evidence based blog, is it not time to think the unthinkable and wonder if tribal party politics is really the answer?

  7. Mister Jabberwock

    For what say it is an “evidence based” blog to allow a contributor to write “Further proof that the actions of Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt have damaged the Government emerged today following the latest Populus poll for this morning’s Times, which shows the Conservatives on 42 per cent and Labour on 27 per cent”.

    It might be “further evidence” but is obviously not proof. Lots of other things could have contributed includingthe margin of error.

    It is just sloppy and leads to the suspicion that “evidence based” just means anything that we can use to justify an existing belief.

  8. Alun

    @Red

    “Just because 60% of those polled say so, it is not a logical necessity that this reflects the public at large.”

    Clearly not, but opinion pollsters do try very hard to get representative polls, and they do often weight their results to reflect the public at large.

    “A poll conducted by, say, The Sun or The Times for its readers, is not reflective of ‘the public’, but merely those readers who answered that particular poll. Hold the same poll in two different papers, you’ll get different answers.”

    Ah, here’s your mistake. This is not a poll by the Times of it’s readers. It is a poll commissioned by the Times and performed by the opinion polsters Populus. Populus, like all good opinion polling companies wil attempt to produced as unbiased a poll as possible, after all it’s in their interests to do so. They also publish their methodology.

    http://www.populus.co.uk/polling.html

  9. Red

    Yeah, fair enough, Alun.

    This isn’t a major thing for me; I just felt a bit annoyed by how much these polls get thrown around when I’ve never come across one myself, nor know anybody who has. Not that I’m basing it merely on that. That would be silly. I guess capitalism/corporatisation/commercialism/imperialism/society-politics gots me jaded.

    Thanks very much for your reply – gonna go have a look-see at the link.

    Peace

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