The tables for the weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here, covering attitudes to Ed Miliband, the government’s recent U-turns, Rowan Williams and the Royal Family.

In the last few days the media narrative seems to have shifted significantly against Ed Miliband, with lots of stories in the media about him being in trouble, having a year to sort himself out, etc. Looking trough them there aren’t really many named figures there: it’s mostly “friends of” or unnamed former ministers. In any stories about internal party rumblings then unless there are names it’s impossible to judge whether it is just the usual suspects (any party has certain malcontents who can always be guaranteed to sound off about the leader), or if there actually are serious rumblings within the Parliamentary party.

What we can be more confident about is that public perceptions of Ed Miliband are not encouraging (and, of course, that will to some extent be due to the media portrayal of him, but that’s part of the game). Miliband’s approval rating today is down to minus 23, his lowest since becoming leader. Only 19% of people think Labour made the right decision in choosing him as leader, with 51% thinking he was the wrong choice.

Responses to questions like this are largely partisan, Conservative and Lib Dem supporters naturally don’t tend to be impressed by the performance of Labour leaders. However, Ed Miliband’s ratings are mediocre even amongst his own party supporters. 41% of Labour voters think he was the wrong choice. 45% of Labour voters think that David Miliband would be a better leader than his brother. Labour voters are evenly split (48% to 47%) on whether Ed is providing an effective opposition, only 43% say they are clear what he stands for (54% not clear), and only 39% of Labour voters think he has a credible policy on the economy (26% do not and 35% are uncertain).

Of course, in Miliband’s favour, under his leadership Labour are ahead in the polls. However, what we can’t tell is whether they’d be further ahead under a different leader, or what would happen in an election campaign when voting intention becomes (to some extent) more a choice between alternative governments.

If we look at the last two leaders of the opposition who went on to become Prime Minister, Tony Blair and David Cameron, Ed Miliband is quite evidently not in the same league. His approval ratings are now solidly negative, while Blair’s figures were consistently positive, and Cameron’s figures positive apart from the temporary effect of the “Brown honeymoon”. Ed’s polling figures risk becoming more reminscent of a Hague or an IDS, despite Labour actually doing relatively well in voting intention polls and (non-Scottish) elections. It takes time for party leaders to establish themselves, but Ed Miliband has had quite a lot of time now and seems to be getting the thumbs down. Once negative perceptions have established themselves in the public mind it takes something to shift them.

Before one writes him off though, the question I ponder is whether we just happen to have been spoiled by Blair and Cameron? Only two leaders of the opposition have become Prime Minister in the last 30 years, and they were cut from quite similar cloth, both charismatic figures who very clearly changed the whole political terrain when they became leader. It is clear Ed Miliband does not fit that mould and whatever you think of him, he has clearly not set the political world alight. However just because only one type of opposition leader has succeeded in the last 30 years, it doesn’t mean only that type of leadership can succeed (hell, if John Smith has not died, Labour would almost certainly still have won in 1997 and we’d have a very different model of what a successful opposition leader looks like). Mrs Thatcher did not set the world alight as Leader of the Opposition, yet won and went onto win three terms. That said, politics has changed since the 1970s and I remember many Conservatives whistling that same empty tune past the graveyards of Hague and IDS’s leaderships…

On other issues, given the unpopularity of the NHS reforms and increasing sentence reductions for pleading guilty, it’s unsurprisingly that people overwhelmingly though the government was right to change and drop the plans. How people viewed the changes were largely along party lines – Conservatives and Liberal Democrats tended to think it showed that the government were listening and willing to change, Labour respondents tended to think that it showed the government were weak or incompentent or hadn’t thought their policies through.

YouGov also asked how much people trusted David Cameron to fulfil the five pledges he gave on the NHS this week – 40% trusted him a little or a lot, 54% did not trust him a lot or at all. As one might expect, the there was a strong party skew – 86% of Conservative voters trusted him a lot or a little (and only 1% not at all), 86% of Labour voters didn’t trust him much or at all, Lib Dem voters were pretty evenly split.


199 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times on Ed Miliband”

1 2 3 4
  1. @ Virgilio

    As ever, I enjoyed your European summary. However, can we say that Jobbik is a fascist party and not a far-right one?

    Less importantly, my Greek friends (second generation) in Hungary describe Fidesz as a proto-fascist party (which, of course, as there were fascist parties before, is a contradiction in terms, nevertheless) – which is certainly have enough supporting evidence both in practical policies and the worship of the 1930s.

  2. I’ve got attacked here before for saying you should never underestimate the Labour Party’s capacity for pointless internal warfare, but to start one on the orders of the Conservative Press, seems a little self-destructive even by their standards. The truth is that Ed Miliband has probably been attacked more frequently and thoroughly in his first eight months than any recent Labour leader – I think even Foot might have got off a bit lighter. The five-day honeymoon he got after his marriage (after being criticised for not being married, he’s now being criticised for getting married) was longer than any he got from the media.

    You would assume that such a relentless barrage might make Labour people think that, if he’s so terrible, why do Labour’s enemies hate him so much?

    Of course, as well as the usual anti-Labour partisan bias from the political media establishment, Ed Miliband does have other qualities to annoy them. Firstly he apparently doesn’t fit to identikit picture that the public are supposed to have for Party leaders. The fact that those saying this, usually claim that his very similar brother fits the mould perfectly, suggests that this assessment is flawed or that the template is even more tightly drawn than that for Miss World contestants.

    Secondly, and most cruelly, Ed M made the media look stupid by winning against their predictions (our Dear Leader and his followers, the glorious exception). This is unforgivable and reality must be adjusted to fit the theory. Otherwise people might think Nick Robinson doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    Thirdly, he is not Tony Blair. Most of the political media loved Tony Blair passionately. To quote Charles II “his nonsense suited their nonsense”, quite literally sometimes, as when he was PM he sometimes seems to more interested in keeping the Press happy than running the country. The media have never really become reconciled to their loss and every leader is measured up against St Tone and found wanting.

    Unfortunately for Miliband, many of his own Party feel the same as the media and for much the same reasons. In addition, at the moment the Labour Party’s condition is oddly similar to that of the Tories late- and post-Thatcher. There is a whole political generation that has grown used to power and all its trappings. The loss of that fills them with righteous anger (if there’s anything the political class understands it’s entitlement). With time on their hands, making mischief is what they are used to. Together, of course, with digging up old disputes that no one sensible was much concerned with even at the time.

    Incidentally for all those denouncing Balls et al for treacherously trying to get Blair to go (as he had promised to), it’s worth pointing out that before Blair went, Cameron was regularly leading him as ‘best Prime Minister’. Once Brown took over in June 2007, he started getting double Cameron’s score. But Brown always seemed to be more popular with Labour. voters than with Labour members (there was polling showng this after the GE).

  3. @ Rob Sheffield

    “Transpose Neil (for ‘Ed’) and Thatcher (for ‘Osborne’) in this quote of yours and you have a historical ‘lesson’ to learn yourself.”

    DC does not have the North Sea oil revenue to manage the economic policies as MT had (without it she would not have stayed in power beyond 1981) – I don’t think that the comparison works, even if I do think that Labour should take it as a warning.

  4. @ Roger Mexico

    Wonderful. If the Labour Party had any brain, it would copy your post and mail it out. But I doubt if they had the guts.

    In any case, it puts the events and the polling on EM in proper contexts.

  5. Roger Mexico

    “There is a whole political generation that has grown used to power and all its trappings. The loss of that fills them with righteous anger (if there’s anything the political class understands it’s entitlement). With time on their hands, making mischief is what they are used to.”

    Very true, and even truer for Labour in Scotland. Out of power in Westminster, out of power in Holyrood, controlling few councils (and even fewer with a majority).

  6. I can’t decide whether this is media fabrication or a genuine rift – if it’s the latter, it has to be the most ludicrous party split in the history of the universe. After all the damage over the endless Blair/Brown rifts and then the endless plots to oust Brown, you’d have thought that now that Labour are leading in the polls (and leading enough to get an overall majority), they’d be happy with what they’ve got.

    In the words of the man who should be Prime Minister (that’s Charlie Brooker): “Man the lifeboats. The idiots are winning.”

  7. @Rob S/Alec,

    As you are a couple of posters I enjoy reading and quite often agree with wholeheartedly, can I mediate a little in your disagreement over Ed Miliband’s leadership capabilities? I’m more with Alec than Rob on this, as anyone who’s read my earlier posts on the subject will know, but I think, in partial agreement with Rob, Labour shouldn’t entirely rule out the possibility of changing leaders if there is serious and unequivocal evidence circa 2013 that Miliband has become unelectable. Where I agree with Alec though,is that we’re nowhere near there yet and a party that is seen to panic and flinch in the face of enemy fire, as Labour would be doing by dispensing with their leader inside 12 months, will open up fatal internal divisions and pay the electoral price for doing so.

    Miliband needs to develop and articulate Labour’s vision more clearly and he does need to score more of the open goals that the coalition are presenting to him, but where I disagree with Rob is that, unusually for an Opposition Leader, he does actually have a fair bit of time on his side.

    There is an old adage that applies to many endeavours in life and that is always do what your enemy least wants you to do. As the coalition approaches it’s most vulnerable period in office (2011/12), what do you think that they’d most want Labour to be doing? The answer to that question should determine Labour’s strategy and I think that means no leadership challenges or changes for now, don’t you?

  8. lazlo

    “DC does not have the North Sea oil revenue to manage the economic policies as MT had (without it she would not have stayed in power beyond 1981) – I don’t think that the comparison works, even if I do think that Labour should take it as a warning.”

    But- more to the point in terms of current tribulations- Labour under Foot would not have won if there had been no oil.

    The SDP would have.

    There is indeed a lesson in what you say….namely if you are the wrong leader then circumstances don’t help.

  9. “I did pick up on the April manufacturing figures though – these look truly dreadful. The one growth sector now in contraction.”

    – They were bad, although the ONS report says that the Royal Wedding (/ the extra bank holidays) along with the Japan Tsunami combined to ‘help’ make the figures so bad.

    Due to the way the bank holidays worked out, some companies/manufacturing bases apparently shut down for that 11 day stretch (since they only would have opened for the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the middle otherwise).

    So they were bad figures, but I haven’t seen any (independent) economists say it’s truly worrying figures.

  10. crossbat

    “There is an old adage that applies to many endeavours in life and that is always do what your enemy least wants you to do”

    I can tell you the thing the vast majority of Tories want is for us Labour to retain EdM as its leader.

    The thing they least want is a post TB/GB young Labour MP to take over.

  11. Politics is about power.

    And that means getting elected.

    According to the polls, as a potential PM, Ed M just does not cut the mustard.

    If things dont change and they stick with him – Labour may well lose the next election. The warning signs are there. They ought not to ignore them.

  12. I really don’t understand the comparison being made between Ed M and Hague/IDS

    I dont recall the Tories being 5-6 % ahead in the polls under either of them. My memory is that the Cons were a busted flush. I’m sure I’ll be corrected if I’m wrong!

  13. The right wing media does mock Ed M. However, much of it, particularly the Mail, detests DC. Perhaps they mock EM because he makes their enemy look good. Currently, RW appears to be giving him a tougher ride.

  14. @Roger Mexico
    @Crossbat11

    I agree with both your posts in their entirity.

  15. Rob Sheffield

    “The thing they least want is a post TB/GB young Labour MP to take over.”

    How about one of these?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-11512577

  16. @ richard o

    with Browns obsession with whats become something of a failed Keynesian model across most of Europe

    —–

    Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Norway are all in Europe. And they all have broadly Keynesian model economies.

    Which of them has “failed”?

    By contrast, the global recession began in that very non-Keynesian economy; the USA.

  17. Latest best bookies’ prices – Inverclyde by-election (30 June)

    Lab 2/7 (Paddy Power)
    SNP 11/4 (Ladbrokes, Stan James, William Hill)
    Con 100/1 (Ladbrokes, Stan James, William Hill)
    UKIP 200/1 (Ladbrokes)
    LD 200/1 (Ladbrokes)

  18. Chris Todd

    “Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Norway are all in Europe. And they all have broadly Keynesian model economies. .

    Which of them has “failed”?”

    Sorry. That can’t be right. We keep hearing that Scotland couldn’t survive without Mother England, yet Denmark is the same size as Scotland; Norway a bit smaller. You must be wrong.

  19. Valerie

    the more important statistic here- given this is about individuals rather than parties (and their small leads)- is the leader ratings.

    Go here

    http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/poll.aspx?oItemID=88&view=wide

    and you’ll observe that EdM’s ratings are very similar to Hagues and actually worse than IDS (other than in the 2-3 months before he was knifed when he was -27 and -30).

  20. Isn’t Norway a member of the Unionists’ “Arc of Insolvency” (sic)?

    http://www.newsinenglish.no/2011/05/30/even-more-reason-to-wave-their-flag/

    … ooh… err… wait a minute…

  21. Stuart

    I think Murphy et al are a little bit geometrically challenged,

    A line with only two data points is a straight line, not an arc.

  22. There isn’t going to be a General Election until 2015.

    Ed Milliband doesn’t really need to do much until mid-2014 – at the moment the tory bus has run out of wheels to fall off so it’s pretty pointless wasting more energy than he needs to at this stage.

    Labour are consistently ahead in the polls and that will be enough for him for now. Their big problem is that they have alienated huge swathes of their core vote by pandering to middle England and the middle class. If they don’t start pandering to what should be their core – in the form of such things as NHS dentists for all and huge social housing projects and not just for families but couples the elderly, the young and other ‘clear red water’ policies, then there is the highly probably chance that they will lose enough of their remaining core that they can no longer win and will be out for decades.

  23. OldNat,

    Did you see Kevin McKenna’s column in today’s Observer? Astonishing to see a blindly loyal Labourite like McKenna starting to draft the Union’s epitaph:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/12/alex-salmond-scotland-independence

    … and I am fascinated by the John Reid story too:

    ht tp://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/scotland/Lord-Reid-urged-to-fight.6783635.jp

    It says everything you need to know about the calibre of the current batch of Unionist MSPs.

  24. Andy Williams

    “NHS dentists for all”

    You mean a Government that would establish additional training facilities for dentists to increase the numbers ?

    Maybe one that ensures that 96% of children aged 6-12 are registered with an NHS dentist?

    Or one that increased the proportion of the population registered with an NHS dentist from 50% to 73% over the last 4 years?

    Such a Government would undoubtedly have popular support.

  25. Stuart

    Granted that McKenna seems to write stuff just to wind people up, I did like his turn of phrase here

    “Then David Cameron decided to enter the fray by announcing that a task force would be established to defend the 1707 treaty. This, we are told, will be called the Yes to Scotland in Britain campaign. Presumably the people who came up with the name had taken inspiration from acolytes of the avant-garde “Stalingrad Metallurgy Workers Are Always Motivated by Strength and Application” school of Soviet political slogans. Indeed, a cursory glance at the chinless and the swivel-eyed on the list of defenders would have Churchill and Heath voting for independence. “Money will be no object,” said a source close to the fledgling campaign, thereby echoing the family mottos of Clegg and Cameron during their back-breaking slog to the top.”

  26. @ Tristan Perry

    Yes, the ONS made that qualification and I think it’s very valid. The question is: if the drop for these reasons are for ever, or it could be recouped. I actually think, and visually if you look at the manufacturing figures, it is not out of the trend – unfortunately.

  27. Old Nat, there are no NHS dentists with any space on their books within 80 miles of where I live. The one I am registered with is 45 miles away. It opened 3 years ago and places were allocted on a random draw. There were tens of thousands of applications.. It had to temporarily close down for 8 months of last year due to funding problems. It currently only has 2 dentists instead of the 6 it’s supposed to have, both eastern European. It only does emergency treatment and has for the last 2 years because of the fact it’s under-manned – no check-ups or routine stuff..

  28. @ laszlo

    Yep, I agree that it does seem to be an overall trend. I guess we’ll find out in due course. There have been bounce backs after similar circumstances previously (2002 Golden Jubilee), but admittedly this does seem to be more of a trend.

  29. @ Amber Star

    “I completely agree. Replacing Ed with David is a non-starter. Even Rob Sheffield acknowledges that.

    Chuka Umunna is too young & inexperienced, sadly ..as are all the other MPs who are two steps removed from Blair/ Brown. And therein lies the reason that Ed M will remain as leader. There are no other serious contenders.”

    I think you’ve got a lot of solid contenders. But they may not want to rush into a leadership battle because they don’t want to deal with the ramifications of losing to Ed. I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying that if you’re going to kill the king, make sure you kill him good.

    Frankly, I think David has the same problems that Ed does in terms of being excessively nerdy and charismatically challenged.

  30. Andy Williams

    Don’t know where you live, but in Scotland the situation is still patchy. Better in Ayrshire & Arran, than in Grampian for example. That things are much better than in 2007, should be something that a social democratic party should be proud of, while planning to improve.

    A social democratic party that had seen the numbers registered with an NHS dentist drop to 50% had little to be proud of.

  31. SoCalLiberal:

    As a wise man once said: “If you come at the king, you best not miss.”

    (I do hope I’m not stereotyping awfully by assuming that as a Democrat-voting liberal American of a certain subset you will understand that quote!)

  32. Wales Old Nat. It’s a shambles and outside of Cardiff/Swansea is little better now than it was 10 years ago..

  33. @andy williams – “… there is the highly probably chance that they will lose enough of their remaining core that they can no longer win and will be out for decades.”

    An article about demographic trends that may be of interest:

    h
    ttp://today.yougov.co.uk/commentaries/peter-kellner/labour-not-just-party-working-class

    “Labour and Tory voters are different, but not in the way they used to be.”

  34. @Rob S

    “Transpose Neil (for ‘Ed’) and Thatcher (for ‘Osborne’) in this quote of yours and you have a historical ‘lesson’ to learn yourself.”

    Seems a little harsh? The key lesson from the 1980’s that everyone seems to agree on is that a divided opposition tends to fail.

    While I don’t necessarily rule out a challenge to Ed, I think it’s far too early to have decided the outcome of the next election based on some polling of leader perceptions before both Ed has really set out his stall and Cameron has been fully tested by events and his developing record.

    The point I often make here is my belief that Con/Lab leadership polling is often a zero sum game – when one is up, the other is down. A re-evaluation of Cameron will come in due course. If that proves negative, then the same people will look at Ed and start to see him in better light.

  35. Rob S – “the thing the vast majority of Tories want is for us Labour to retain EdM as its leader”.

    Absolutely right, and hence the Tories rejoicing when he was elected.

    Ther is a very, very long way to go before a GE though, and Edward knows that.

  36. With regard to today’s polling regarding Ed Miliband, it’s worth repeating a point that has been made here before (for example by TingedFringe last week). The circumstances of coalition mean that the supporters of those Parties are more likely to back the each others’ politicians and mark down those of the opposition. So Ed Miliband will lose out a bit and Clegg and Cameron gain.

    Added to the hate campaign (or near enough) against him by the Press and it’s not surprising that the figures aren’t great. However that doesn’t mean that nothing need to be done. In politics perception can become reality. At the moment even Labour’s own supporters are unsure about Miliband.

    More of them than not think Labour made a mistake in electing him (41% v 35%); think his brother would do better (45% v 39%); are not clear on what he stands for (54% v 43%); and on 39% think he has a “credible policy for sorting out Britain’s
    economy”. Most of this is just repeating conventional (media-derived) wisdom and maybe shows that leaders may not make as big a difference as the Westminster Bubble would like. But it does also show the urgent need for Miliband and Labour to reconsider image, ‘narrative’ and policy.

    The figures aren’t all entirely bad for Ed Miliband. Apart from his brother, no other Labour pol comes near him for leader (and for what it’s worth I suspect David M was in the end relieved not to be elected, for personal reasons). More important he is still an unknown quantity with many – and that applies as much to supporters of other Parties as to Labour. The very force and unanimity of the campaign against him may make some want to reconsider – the reputation of the Press is no greater than that of politicians. There is a real opportunity for Miliband and Labour to change things – but masterly inactivity won’t do it.

  37. Craig
    You may not have been shocked to know that I am a routine Labour politician. Anthony may though have to take draconian action or incurr the ever-greater wrath of the cyber-nats.
    S Dickson has not hidden anything but you may be interested in his views as I take him to be a vanguard voice of the SNP.
    As a right wing participant in the recent Swedish election he wondered, “Is the final stake going to be driven in to the bloodthirsty monster, the living dead that is the sprawling Swedish welfare state?….words like “solidarity,” “equality” and brotherhood make modern Swedes squirm” etc etc
    Amber, Billy Bob and Lord T
    Thanks

  38. @Laszlo
    Certainly one might qualify Jobbik as a fascist party “lato sensu”, if by fascist we mean not only the historical phenomenon that appeared in pre-WWII Italy under specific political and economical conditions, but any like-minded movement. National chauvinism, far-right radicalism, identity politics in the sense of the exclusion of minorities and different people are all manifestations of the “fascist” spirit. It is, however, ironic to observe that the heir of the neo-fascist movement in Italy, Gianfranco Fini, ex-leader of MSI, then of National Alliance, and now leader of “centrist” FLI has evolved to the point of sending representatives in Rome EuroPride, whereas in Eastern and Northern Europe we see a radicalization of nationalist movements.

  39. @Tristan Perry – “So they were bad figures, but I haven’t seen any (independent) economists say it’s truly worrying figures.”

    I’ve guessed you read the BBC web report given the reference to the 2002 Jubilee figures, but if so the Commerzbank spokesman they quote says he only expects part of the drop to be recouped.

    Look at the predictions – the central prediction for April industrial production was a weak 0.1% growth, where all the economists already knew about bank holidays and car parts supply issues. the actual number was -1.7%.

    Most independent observers are in agreement that industrial production is struggling and while it may return to growth the period of very strong manufacturing performance has now ended. It’s also worth noting that the Markit/Cipps manufacturing survey data for the last two months has shown a below 50 (eg contraction) reading for the new orders element of the overall index. Orders are not affected as much by royal weddings as they are forward looking indicators, and these numbers are predicting further shrinkage.

    Osborne’s strategy was to rely on a rebalancing forged by high exports and strong manufacturing growth. The latter has now come to a juddering halt, while the sharply softening global data suggests exporters will start to come off the boil too. Osborne is in real trouble and while he seems proud to boast that he has no Plan B, the worry for me is that he really doesn’t have a Plan B, but nor does he have a Plan A any longer.

  40. @SocalLiberal and @TopHat

    The expression oft quoted in UK politics is the one used by Michael Heseltine after his challenge to Margeret Thatcher led her to resign as PM in 1990.

    When asked later about the reasons why he never became leader after her resignation he famously said:
    “He who wields the axe never wears the crown”

    So even if the axing is successful in its main aim, the axeman never assumes to the throne.

  41. Raf
    Of course M Thatcher also disproves this line.
    She was not one of the front runners to replace T Heath but was the one willing to weild the axe (then and later)

  42. If Osborne has his sums wrong, the best stategic option for Tories would be to bring about the coalition’s demise and call an election before things take a obvious downward turn. A subsequent GE in 2016 would give an extra year’s wiggle room.

    Hence the levels of hysteria about Labour’s stubborn polling lead.

  43. @Barney Crockett

    I’m sorry, not being one of the more “mature” posters, I don’t quite stretch back to the mid/late seventies. Did Margaret Thatcher ever stand against Ted Heath for the leadership of the Tory Party?

  44. Is it possible that the Tories are behind certain recent events and that a game is being played leading up to an early election ?

    Perhaps Cameron is trying to get to a position, where he can claim that his party have too many differences over policies with the Lib Dems and it is not possible to continue the coalition.

  45. @ R Huckle – there is no chance of Cameron calling an early election.

    @ Barney Crockett/RAF – I think the Heseltine comment was entirely self serving. He was no more than a glorified stalking horse, put up (like Sir Anthony Meyer the year before) to test backbench dissatisfaction with Thatcher. There was never any appetite in the party for him to be leader, as the subsequent votes proved.

    There is absolutely no reason why the person wielding the knife cannot become leader in the right circumstances – in my opinion David Miliband would have been applauded had he done so against Gordon Brown.

  46. @RAF: In fairness, Brown axed Blair and became PM.

  47. @Sergio

    You might be right that it could happen. But are there any example in recent UK political history where it has happened?

    I’ve checked the Mrs T/Heath example given by Barney Crockett, and while that technically fits the bill, Heath had already lost two General Elections, so it’s not quite in the same category as other examples.

  48. @TopHat

    He didn’t stand against him in a leadership contest. Also Blair had already said he would not lead the Party into the next election.

  49. Raf
    Yes Not half. In 1975. Heath was determined to stay on. The right wing challenger was assumed to be Keith Joseph with Whitelaw in mind as the unity possibilty. Joseph seemed to go to pieces in the lead up but Thatcher stepped in to challenge Heath. She did not win a sufficient majority without a run-off but Heath packed in and to the surprise of most M Thatcher had by then gained enough momentum to beat Whitelaw who had seemed the more substantial figure until that moment.

  50. Barney

    Your concept that Stuart is the “vanguard voice of the SNP” suggests that constant defeat may have slightly distorted your ability to analyse politics.

    After all, you were an official Labour candidate, while advocating on here that the future lay with an expansion of the UK State to absorb other territories. (Were there any limits on your ambitions for territorial expansion?)

    That neither Brown, G nor Miliband, E adopted your proposal for a Greater UK as Labour policy, would tend to suggest that Crockett, B was just someone posting personal opinions,and not a vanguard of anything.

    Do let us know when your opinions become Labour policy.

1 2 3 4