ICM’s monthly poll for the Guardian has finally appeared (it was conducted on the Tuesday and Wednesday before Chistmas, but presumably held back till today’s paper when there is normally no proper news to report!). Topline figures, with changes from the ICM/Sunday Telegraph poll straight after the veto are CON 37%(-3), LAB 36%(+2), LDEM 15%(+1).

The rest of the poll had some questions on economic optimism (unremittingly negative, as usual), and on leadership qualities. On overall approval Cameron’s net rating is plus 5, Miliband minus 17, Clegg minus 19. On the figures shown in the Guardian 55% of people think Cameron has “the courage to say what is right rather than what is popular”, 50% think he is “good in a crisis”, only 34% think he “understands people like me”. For Miliband 41% think he has “the courage to say what is right rather than what is popular”, 37% think he “understands people like me”, 21% think he is “good in a crisis”.

325 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 37, LAB 36, LDEM 15”

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  1. I always find it a supreme irony that the most anti-Tory of the broadsheets employs the pollster whose methodology (currently at least) produces the most pro-Tory figures.

    An unwinding of the last ICM poll, which I think everyone rightly called as an outlier.

    Still good PR for Cameron at year’s end though.

  2. Neil A
    …and 52% for the Coalition Parties is not bad either, even with the drop in Tory vote.

  3. It’s fascinating to see that Ed Miliband is about as unpopular as Nick Clegg. I wonder if the recent radicalisation of the left has made the so-called “Red Ed” a bit out-of-date? Sort of like how Mitt Romney is out of step with the times in America with the radicalisation of the American right since 2008.

  4. I think many a time AW has pointed out that ICM shows the best figures for the Tories and the worst for Labour because of their methodology…So if they are almost neck and neck,it is probable that Labour are already back in positive territory here…The veto effect for the Tories has almost worn off…Cameron can take comfort that his ratings have zoomed up by his veto…Does anyone know the leadership numbers in ICM prior to the veto?

  5. Smukesh – On what basis have you decided that, bacause ICM show the worst case for Labour, the figures must be wrong?

  6. COLIN
    On the previous thread,it was pointed out that ICM showed similar figures when all other pollsters were showing a 4-5 point lead…After the veto boost Tories had zoomed up in ICM but now returned to pre-veto levels…The lack of veto boost at Feltham,Populus showing a 4 point Labour lead was also a reason…It is ofcourse possible that Tories still have a lead but probably not

  7. 4-5 point Labour lead


    The problem is that we don’t know what ‘real’ is. Just because the other pollsters disagree with ICM doesn’t make it wrong.

    Of course rephrasing your comment sorts this out
    “4-5 point lead as measured by other pollsters”

    I don`t disagree…I just pointed out that ICM consistently shows lower poll numbers for Labour compared to other pollsters

  10. So Neil A you find that ironic, I find it refreshing that the Guardian does publish a poll whose results might be at odds with its political stance.

    If you are looking for irony, let me take you back to the early days of the Blair government, (were you born?). The Telegraph had for years used Gallup, Gallup showed the largest ‘Labour’ leads, it wasn’t long before the Telegraph dumped them in favour of, (New Kids on the Block) Yougov who at that time were showing much narrower Labour leads, now here comes the irony after a few months Yougov fell into line with errrr Gallup.

    I’m a big ICM fan, they’ve always been the most consistent of the polls, I would’nt be surprised if come the day, (which I expect will be sooner rather than later) the result won’t be much different from those figures.

  11. Will England ever come to like Ed Miliband ?

    As harsh as this may appear, I don’t believe most people from the shires of England will vote for a party led by someone they think of as a ‘geek’. We are in a world where people will base 90% of their opinion about someone on their appearance and not what they stand for or what abilities they might have. I don’t think therefore that Labour can ever win enough seats under Ed even to form a coaltion.

    When I have ever held any brief chat about politics in the media, people like Cameron because they think he looks and acts as a PM. When they look at Ed Miliband they take the opposite view and with Clegg they just don’t trust him because of the policies junked to go into coaltion.

    As predicted before on here, I am sure that Ed M will come to realise his position and he will stand aside sometime during 2012/13. Personally I would have liked to see someone like John Denham stand as a leadership candidate, but he announced he was leaving politics at the next GE. Next choice would be Andy Burnham. Labour would have no chance with Ed Balls, either as leader or shadow chancellor.

    Until Labour puts together an alternative shadow cabinet that England will trust enough to back them, I can’t see Labour gaining a substantial poll lead, that will lead to a winning position at the GE. They need to start this change during 2012 in my opinion, as it can take several years in opposition with a consistent team, for the electorate to get a know them.

  12. @David
    “I find it refreshing that the Guardian does publish a poll whose results might be at odds with its political stance.”

    Given that the paper advocated a vote for the LDs in 2010 and has yet to change that editorial line, I’d have said that the Guardian is using a polling company whose results are entirely consistent with its political stance.

  13. @R Huckle

    The first port of call for replacement should be Balls as shadow chancellor, who both symbolises the legacy of the previous government and yet appears to be unable to articulate a persuasive alternative in terms that the public understands, even when faced with a coalition economic open goal. Although it didn’t look so at the time, that appointment was a mistake and I suggest is doing far more to hold back Labour’s poll ratings than a perception of Miliband as a “geek”.

  14. PHIL
    Completely agree with you…But it is a wake-up call for Milliband…He can`t carry on with an aloof approach which feeds into this `geek` image…If it means getting out of his comfort zone and doing programmes such as TopGear as some have suggested,he must do it

  15. PHIL

    @”The first port of call for replacement should be Balls as shadow chancellor, who both symbolises the legacy of the previous government and yet appears to be unable to articulate a persuasive alternative in terms that the public understands,”

    I agree. In addition to the points you raise I think he is an excessively abrasive politician. He always seems to be in “prizefighter” mode & I wonder what sort of appeal that has outside the ranks of his own faithful.

    But I do think EM’s “geekiness” is also a problem. There must be a better word for it somewhere but it certainly encapsulates that air of perpetual student protest-the wide eyed look of disbelief-a young man’s version of Victor Meldrew.

  16. I have recently put a bet on with a friend who was a Labour candidate at the last election.

    £50 for a Tory overall majority. And he is the one backing that proposition – on the basis that he thinks Milipede and Balls are completely unelectable.

    If even he thinks that then the two Eds really do have a problem.

  17. What nonsense…So this one person is somehow representative of the population of the UK

  18. @Smukesh

    No, he isnt representative of the UK population. But he is clearly representative of what many non-Blairite stalwart Labour supporters think (as he is one). And they are more likely to be inclined to be generous to Ed & Ed than the populace at large.

    I shall be £50 richer if he is wrong!

  19. @Smukesh

    I forgot to say – Miliband on Top Gear. That I would gladly pay my licence fee twice to see. I wonder if he could beat Boris Johnson’s ‘star in a reasonably priced car’ lap time. I think Boris is 4th or 5th from bottom on the leader board.

    Greetings for this season.

    Sadly, England will not vote for ED.

    September 2012 Conference season is the latest time for him to be released from his job, as Sept 2013 is too close to the GE for this ti happen.

  21. Neil A – it’s key evidence that despite the sort of boneheaded comments you see elsewhere, pollsters voting intention figures don’t change to suit the client (it doesn’t work the other way either, newspapers don’t choose pollsters for particular skew on results, though they do like their pollsters to get things *right*)

    SMukesh – ICM currently show the worst figures for Labour, but it isn’t set in stone. ICM’s reallocation of don’t knows helps parties that have lost support, so if the Tories increase their support and Labour support decreases, the effect of ICM’s reallocation would gradually start to help the Conservatives less and do less damage to Labour.

    David – the switch from Gallup to YouGov was rather more complex than that. Essentially Gallup called it a day and the Telegraph switched to NOP for their main voting intention polls and did some test polls with YouGov and their new fangled internet wotsit. The switch to YouGov for voting intention polls came later.

    ICM’s reallocation of don’t knows helps parties that have lost support, so if the Tories increase their support and Labour support decreases, the effect of ICM’s reallocation would gradually start to help the Conservatives less and do less damage to Labour.
    It explains the Lib Dem VI…But.the polls show that the Tories have retained their 2010 support and possibly increased them…So why does this theory still hold true for them?

  23. @ Hooded Man

    CON 37%(-3), LAB 36%(+2), LDEM 15%(+1).

    I think your cynicism about this poll being held was misplaced. I do not think the Graun would be loathe to report a poll which shows the Tories -3, Lab +2 & the Dems +1.

    Simply more evidence, were it needed, that the ‘veto’ bounce will be gone by the the end of January, if not before.

  24. I find it highly amusing, the recommendation of poll fanatics that Labour drop Ed Balls. Check the Populus polling for Ashcroft – if I recall correctly, less than half of those polled know who Ed Balls is; & fewer were able to recognise his photo.

    Apparently, Osborne was perceived to be so unpopular during the run up to 2010 that it was suggested, by Tories, that he should stand aside.

  25. @Henry

    “52% for the two coalition parties…”

    I doubt very much that Peter Bone and David Davis et al on the Tory benches will ever be concerning themselves with the notorious ATTAD: ditto Charlie K. and Tim F. on the yellow benches. Though I take your point as an orange booker-Cameroonian = this dual tendency (which a cigarette paper can just about separate) is *desperate* for it to work and to continue.


    “will England ever come to like ED Milliband”

    The long and the short answer is no. However IMO he won’t go until late 2013/ early 2014 and I think it will be voluntary.

    Though reds on here illustrate repeatedly how they don ‘t like to be reminded of it, leadership ratings are as important as party VI as a predictor of GE outcomes. *Everyone* on here- as poll geeks- should admit that/ know that by now.

    It’s why Dave failed to win the last election.

    However he is a natural as PM as was Blair before him- and with the same quick witted command of the HoC (Hague referred to trying to land one on Blair during PMQs as like trying to nail jelly to the wall). DC has won over the middle/ undecideds as a person now- though (please note Henry) the coalition most certainly has not as this poll illustrates.

    Whereas Ed cannot even carry a clear majority of his own voters!

    Labour will never win a majority with EdM in charge though the ‘we have got our party back’ naive brigade don’t seem too bothered by that!

    Oh for one of the 2010 intake…

  26. @ Last Fandango

    If even he thinks that then the two Eds really do have a problem.
    LOL :-)

    Tory candidates doubted Dave would ever make it #10 Downing Street; many thought Osborne should step aside & let Ken Clarke have his old job back.

    Of course MP candidates hope to be carried to victory on the coat-tails of a popular leader; otherwise they must work very hard indeed to secure their place in parliament.

    I’d tell him to roll up his sleeves or step-aside for a candidate who is willing to do the work.

  27. I voted Ed Miliband first, rather than David (well, technically I voted Andy Burnham first, Ed Miliband second, but Andy Burnham was never going to win, I was just hoping his profile could be raised). However, I never really rated his chances of winning the next election as particularly high. The reason I did so was because I thought the exact same thing about David, and the exact same thing about Ed Balls. Rather than win an election with a party that was effectively little more than an empty shell, I wanted to see the party rebuilt, and to move away from the New Labour mould.

    That’s not to say I think New Labour was a bad thing, simply that its time had passed. Reinvention is a key feature in politics. The fact something has won before is no guarantee it will again – in fact, in the long run it is usually a guarantee it won’t. Therein lay my reason for voting for Ed – I thought he’d accelerate change away from New Labour at a faster rate than his brother David. This was for a number of reasons – his brother was very clearly a Blairite, whereas Ed belonged less strongly to either tribe, and was thus less divisive. He was unexpected, and was therefore gong to be unable to assert absolute control over the party, therefore allowing it to develop in an organic manner. He was relatively new – unlike Ed Balls and David Miliband, he wasn’t so clearly marked by the scars of New Labour’s years.

    And everything I want is being done. Ed has marked a shift in Labour’s stance, but hasn’t made any moves against the emergent policy review, and the Labour party is relatively quiet and united. That in itself is almost a miracle, when you consider the post-1997 Conservative party. New Labour, the Blairites and the Brownites, the constant in-fighting, feuding – it’s gone, and the party is healthier for it.

    However, now that is done, or at least nearly done, I agree Ed ought to think about moving on. Not quite yet, there is still some work to go, but at least at some point in 2013/2014. My reasoning is that once the policy review is completed, there will be a sufficient amount of material for policy, and additionally, the review having preceded whoever the new party leader will be, it will be difficult for said leader to override said review. Additionally, the longer Ed holds on, the more the Blairite and Brownite tendencies fade away, and the more likely it is a newer, fresher figure will emerge.

    Ideally, it’d be someone from the 2010 intake, although it is perhaps still a little too early for them (dependent on how much longer Ed remains). I honestly believe Rachel Reeves would be a fantastic candidate, as would possibly Chuka Umunna if he can start to nail debates a little more (although he’s an excellent public speaker). Failing that, I think Andy Burnham is still a very viable figure – while “aspirational socialism” isn’t the snappiest title, it does illustrate the direction in which Labour ought to be headed. His land-value tax support is also a very welcome sign.

    So, I’m perfectly content for Ed to remain. I think he’s doing a good job as Leader of the Labour Party, even if he is doing a very poor job in dead as Leader of the Opposition, and I think it is important the distinction is made between those two roles. However, barring any marked improvement in his performance throughout 2012 and prior to the May 2013 elections, I’d like to see him step down to allow a real Leader of the Opposition to step forth.

    Hopefully this doesn’t sound partisan, it was just an explanation of my views, and I think it relates to how quite a few people will feels towards Ed. I suspect many of the positive approvals in the polls are coming from people who share my viewpoint, because I don’t think anyone can in all honesty claim he is a good Leader of the Opposition.

    On a side note to @Anthony; has anyone ever considered asking whether people thought Ed was doing well as a) head of his party, and b) as leader of the opposition?

    On an entirely unrelated note, I received an AAA offer from Balliol to study PPE. :D

  28. @ Top Hat

    On an entirely unrelated note, I received an AAA offer from Balliol to study PPE.
    Nice 1; keep up the hard work!

  29. EU 2001 GE ROUNDUP
    Here are the aggregated results of 2011 GE in 11 EU countries, by political group in the European Parliament:
    European Popular Party 41.5% (-0.1)
    European Socialists and Democrats 22.3 (-4.5)
    European Conservatives and Reformists 8.2 (-0.7)
    Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe 6.3 (-1.0)
    United European Left – North Green Left 5.0 (+1.5)
    Greens-European Free Alliance 3.4 (+ 0.1)
    Freedom and Democracy [UKIP etc] 1.7 (+0.7)
    Others 11.6 (+4.0)
    In terms of heads of government, there have been the following changes:
    EPP 6: Spain, Portugal, Eire, Finland, Latvia, Poland (previously 3: Latvia, Poland, Croatia)
    S&D 2: Denmark, Croatia (previously 3: Spain, Portugal, Slovenia)
    ALDE 1: Estonia (previously 4: Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Eire)
    EUL-NGL 1: Cyprus (as previously)
    Others 1 : Slovenia (previously: 0)
    Furthermore, the EPP lost three PMs without an election being held in these countries: Italy, Slovakia and Belgium (in the first two cases the incumbent gvt was toppled by Parliament and was replaced by a technical gvt in Italy and by a caretaker gvt in Slovakia, whilst in Belgium a new socialist-led gvt was formed as a result of the 2010 GE). The Socialists lost one PM by similar procedure (Greece) and gained one (Belgium, see above). So, in the whole of EU the EPP has the same number of PMs as before, the Left and the Conservatives ditto, S&D has one less, ALDE 3 less and there are 4 independent-technocrats-caretakers (against 0 in the end of 2010).


  30. @Top Hat
    Congratulations on your offer. Balliol is a fine college and I am sure you’ll have a great time there (A Levels permitting – but we’ll assume they’re in the bag). Your future career as a SPAD is almost assured. :)

    Well said, also, re. EdM. In the leadership election I voted for him 1st. At the hustings he impressed me the most, but I was also wary of DM because a) he had had a couple of opportunities to unseat GB and hesitated repeatedly, and (more importantly) b) Labour would have spent the first year putting out rendition and Iraq-related fires as DM had baggage, and we would have just had warmed-up Blairism MkII. I like a lot of what Blair did, but Iraq caused me to leave the party, and I rejoined only after the GE

    Thanks for pointing out how united Labour is right now, something of a relief after Blair/Brown. If Labour had been told, 18 months after a GE pasting, that to dip below 40% would be considered a disappointment they’d have grabbed it with both hands.

    I’m not convinced that EdM should (if he were to step down) be replaced by a 2010 intake bod. I like prospective PMs to have more than a couple of years experience of the HoC, not to mention a hinterland in something completely different. One of my bugbears about the poor quality of political leadership is that too many senior politicians have little background in anything much, and lack life experience. I myself would be perfectly comfortable with a PM in his/her 50s-60s.

  31. @ Rob & TopHat

    With the greatest respect, you are both more romantic than I am.

    Whilst you both would love to see a fresh 2010 face catapulted to glory, you are dreaming if you think that the PLP – many of whom have spent up to 13 years actually in government – would vote to install a raw recruit as their leader.

    And, having fought tooth & nail to win the leadership, there is not a snowflake’s chance that Ed Miliband will step aside; & no way that his influential supporters would allow him to do so, were he altruistic enough to suggest it.

    Labour is a serious political Party, not a soap opera or disney movie – despite what the media would have us believe. :-)

  32. @ Tark

    You comment had not appeared when I posted mine. It appears I am not alone in my opinion – although you did put it more gently (but firmly) than I did.

  33. Well said, Amber.

  34. Amber – not ‘well said’ to my comment, obviously, but to your short reply to Top Hat

  35. … and to Rob (edit option please …)

  36. @ Top Hat

    “On an entirely unrelated note, I received an AAA offer from Balliol to study PPE.”

    Congratulations. That’s excellent news. Isn’t that where David Cameron went to school?

    Could you educate me though as to what an AAA offer is and what a PPE is?

  37. @Tark;

    No SPADship for me; that’s a terrible fate to wish on anyone!


    Hence why I said “ideally”, while acknowledging it was probably too early. :P Realistically, I’d prefer it to be Andy Burnham.

    And I think Ed may find if he doesn’t jump, he will be pushed.

  38. @SoCalLiberal;

    PPE is Politics, Philosophy and Economics. My favourite subjects, which is odd because I don’t really fancy any of the careers traditionally associated with them!

    Balliol is not where David Cameron went – he went to Brasenose. Admittedly, they’re within 30 seconds walking distance of each other, but it is an important distinction – one’s mildly pink, one’s strongly blue. (I leave it to you to guess which one! :P)

    AAA offer means I have to get 3 As in my A-level exams at the end of this year, otherwise Oxford can still turn me down.

  39. Top Hat


    Whether EM can win England is one question, it is quite possible that he doesn’t need to if the Coalition mess up sufficientlly and fall out, each party blaming the other.

    The other question is whether he can do anything to avoid losing Scotland, (possibly not) and if he can, whether he will (no chance).

  40. @ Tark

    :-) I knew what you meant & thank you.

    I think it is older group(s) which Ed needs to convince. He needs heartfelt policies which resonate with older voters; they believe he cares about their future & the future of their younger family members but they’ve yet to be convinced he is ‘strong’ &/or ‘experienced’ enough to take the actions necessary to secure their wellbeing.

    The idea that one of the 2010 intake could better appeal to the older voter group(s) is rather naive, IMO. And Ed is having no difficulties appealing to the Chuka/ Rachael generation. What Ed needs to find, is a way to reach out to their grandparents!

  41. TOP HAT

  42. @ Top Hat

    And I think Ed may find if he doesn’t jump, he will be pushed.
    By whom? Who would benefit & who will do the pushing?

  43. @amber

    If Labour were a ‘serious party’ they’d arguably have (a) not installed as leader a total voter turn-off geek in the first place (ooops remember the members and the MPs and the MEPs actually didn’t!); (b) would have asked him and his ‘influential’ supporters (such as the truly atrocious Khan) by now, to be ‘serious’ and step aside for the good of the party.

    The fact of both (a)- especially the farce of the result- and (b), is what makes us *actually* a pantomime soap opera chaotic rudderless cock up at the moment and for the entirety of the last year or so.

    Romantic, moi?! I’ll save that moniker for those who think Tory unpopularity over the disaster of the UK economy in the last 12 months equates to a thumbs up for Ed from the electorate.

    In being (actually) a hard-headed realist I am of the clear view that only by jumping over the detritus of the Blair-Brown years will Labour stand a chance of winning a majority at the next election.

  44. Congratulations, Top Hat

    I’m glad that becoming a SPAD is not one of your ambitions. Stick to your guns and yield not to temptation!

    Once you have made your way in the world, is a good enough time to enter politics.

    i look forward to sitting in the old folk’s home, watching the Labour PM of England on TV, and telling the other geriatrics that I used to give him advice. :-)

  45. TOP HAT

    I am with Amber on this one…Ed din`t take huge personal risks to stand aside after 3 years as much as the Tory press would like him to…He needs to be given an opportunity to win over middle England,which in my opinion is still to be won…What I would like though is for him not to carry on as usual(as he states today he will) but step it up a notch,whether in Prime Minister Questions or on appearing in TV interviews to state his case…I point out again he still has not used Patrick Mercer`s devastating description of Cameron in PMQ`s…He also needs to avoid his funny mouth expressions as it is only these images that are being used in press photos and lead to descriptions of being weird…A bit of practice needed here am afraid but necessary as he is up against an antagonistic press who minimise his achievements and maximise his faults

    Rob,Comparing Cameron to Blair is optimistic though the Tories would love it…Blair won a massive majority against the backdrop of a healthy economy while Cameron dint get one in a recession…Blair`s mastery of policy was all too evident compared to the superficial
    nature of Cameron`s policy understanding

  46. @ Rob

    Romantic, moi?!
    You are, if you think you’ll get a 2010’er as leader any time soon.

    None of them have the support they’d need from inside the Party; & they won’t get the opportunity to build it because they are too busy learning their jobs.

    If you expect a new leader during this parliament, you’ll be disappointed.

  47. SMUKESH.
    Good to see your TB appreciations. Thank you.

    I think, though that ED will not ‘walk’ and September 2013 will be too late for Labour to have a new leader for the GE in May 2015.

  48. Congratulations to Top Hat on his offer from Oxford, and on his thoughtful essay re EM. I’m sure it would get alpha minus at Balliol but IMHO Amber Star is closer to the mark about what will happen in the LP, of which I assume Top Hat has only a year or two’s experience. Mine is too long to admit (well 42 yrs actually). I voted for the same ticket as TH (1.Burnham 2. EM). I just don’t think this poll Q about EM is too relevant yet. No GE is remotely imminent and poll respondents know that. EM clearly isn’t PM and he clearly has a lot to learn in leading LP. He also has to deal daily with the problem of a bitter band of ex-Blairite MPs and Metropolitan pundits get massive media airtime, and were clueless enough to think that his brother would be able to attract back the left wing of the LibDem vote, as ED has achieved. What most respondents are devaluing about EM is his achievement of adding 10%+ to Labour’s vote consistently since shortly after his election as leader. Moreover he has had to defend 4 potential banana-skin Labour seats in Parliamentary by elections – and won them all handsomely, in most cases with a good swing to Labour. Given the background in these seats, ie the reputation of the previous incumbents and the particular problem in Scotland after the Assembly elections, these were very fine results indeed. Would anyone genuinely disagree ? They were real polls. In Council elections and by-elections, Labour have also generally perfumed well in comparison with the 2010 GE. Opinion polls are relevant but it is the real elections which matter most. The Scottish Assembly elections were a serious blow to Labour but in Wales Labour did very well on a strong and overly pro-EM ticket (something which English and Scottish correspondents don’t seem to realise). I do agree that the other Ed has been a serious disappointment, but so have some of the more faceless ones on the front bench left over from the old regime(s). Most of them need the order of the boot. Labour needs a younger and fresher front bench, with gender and ethnic balance that fully reflects modern Britain. Both the Coalition Parties – and especially the LibDems – are way behind Labour on this. EM and the Party should hold their nerve, and take comfort from Labour’s major recovery of voting support since 2010, which is I think I am right to say significantly above anything achieved by the Conservatives in 1998,2002 or even 2006.

  49. Sorry for my typo – “Labour have also generally “perfumed” well in comparison with the 2010 GE “- should have read “perfomed”, but was probably just as accurate in the original !

  50. Amber

    I think labour getting a new leader between late 2013 and mid 2014 is just as possible as the Lib Dems moving to C&S by the same time. Both IMO are more likely than the opposite though by no means certain.

    Furthermore there is a potential parallel in terms of both scenarios becoming a supra-party-in-parliament fait accompli in which case you’ll (clearly) be surprised by the speed at which EdM and his cabal are swept aside. Just as the Lib Dem membership (after the 3rd wipeout in a row May 2013) may well make it impossible for Clegg and his cabal to keep the coalition intact without an actual schism = ergo C&S.

    For Labour it will be a 2010 intake member for three reasons:

    1) the brownites would just have been pushed out with the abject failure of EdM so the party will not want a leader from among them- including Yvette;

    2) the party won’t want to select from the Blairite rump;

    3) the ‘I am not the Blairite or Brownite candidate’ from 2010 Burnham (who I had as my 1st choice followed by DM as 2nd- and no others) has been superseded by some of the young stars of the 2010 intake- who are ALREADY building their foundations and groupings (clearly- I don’t know where you have got the perception that they have not)!




    I think it is pretty clear in terms of *quick witted command of the HoC and dominance over the Leader of the opposition* that Cameron and Blair are incredibly similar in a way that Brown and Major were not.

    Plus it *matters*: those snippets of PMQs on TV are infinitely more pertinent and perceptible to undecided voters than are speeches during set piece debates or at conference. Oh and et setvthevmood of the parliamentary troops as well.

    It’s not just the ‘summit walk-out’ = Cameron has been thrashing EdM for months and months now. It tells and is telling.

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