The Sun this morning has some polling from YouGov on attitudes towards Tony Blair three years after his departure. 47% of people think that Blair was a good Prime Minister, 46% that he was a bad one – probably not a bad record. On balance, people tended to think that Blair was likeable (by 57% to 35%), principled (by 43% to 39%) and a good representative for Britain abroad (by 50% to 37%), he fell down on honesty – 44% thought he was dishonest as PM.

Asked what his greatest achievements were as Prime Minister, the minimum wage and bringing peace to Northern Ireland came top by some distance (interestingly, the minimum wage was seen as Blair’s greatest acheivement even by Conservative voters, whereas things like his record on the economy and public services were mainly picked by Labour supporters). His greatest failures were seen as failing to tackle immigration and, unsurprisingly, the invasion of Iraq.

Finally, in the context of the leadership election, we asked whether Labour should distance itself from Blair’s legacy to get back into power, or whether it would be a mistake for them to turn their back on the legacy of a PM who won three elections. It was a pretty even divide, 30% said Labour should distance themselves, 34% it would be a mistake. Amongst Labour supporters, 59% said it would be a mistake for Labour to turn their back on Blair’s legacy.

Meanwhile, there were mixed results on the daily trackers. Government disapproval was the lowest yet for the coalition on minus 4 (38% approve, 42% disapprove). However, voting intention was far more positive for the Conservatives, CON 43%, LAB 37%, LDEM 12%. 6 points is the biggest Tory lead for a fortnight.

Also worth noting is the AV referendum voting intention question from yesterday, which I overlooked at the time. NO is now ahead by 39% to 37%. Still within the margin of error and a huge distance to go, but it suggests the YouGov poll a fortnight ago showing No ahead for the first time was not just a blip.

503 Responses to “Tony Blair’s legacy”

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  1. Just had a look at the figures in the AV poll referred to in AW’s footnote.

    Interesting nugget in that the only regions which show a lead for “yes” to AV are London and Scotland – the two regions which have some experience of AV (Mayor and local elections – esp by-elections).

    I still have not decided which way I shall vote – still less campaign – but my earlier enthusiasm for the referendum is waning. Seems I am not alone.

  2. Eoin, a very gracious apology which is whole-heartedly accepted. I respect your opinion. I realise I have been guilty of an over-reaction, and it is to your credit that you have been (and no doubt will continue lifelong) a peacemaker (the role I unsuccessfully urged our erstwhile PM to persue ;( ). Pax.

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