Monday, June 04, 2007

Benn turns the tables on Cruddas

The last time I carried out a Poll on Labour's deputy leadership earlier this year it produced the following result.

Jon Cruddas 35%
Hilary Benn 28%
Alan Johnson 7%
Peter Hain 5%
Harriet Harman 4%
Hazel Blears 3%
Jack Straw 3%
None of the above 15%

A few weeks' back I decided to run the poll again as the contest is now "live," minus Straw who decided against running. After the same length of time, the updated poll produced the following outcome (percentage movement in brackets):

Hilary Benn 48% (+20)
Jon Cruddas 24% (-10)
Alan Johnson 10% (+3)
Hazel Blears 8% (+5)
Harriet Harman 5% (+1)
Peter Hain 4% (-1)

Now of course all this is totally unscientific, but assuming that (a) some of my readers are Labour Party or union members, and (b) that some of the same people voted, it does seem to me to indicate two things:

1. Hilary Benn now has a big lead in grassroots support - which is what most other polls on the matter are saying anyway.

2. By carving himself out a distinct niche in this contest as the "change" candidate, Jon Cruddas continues to steal a march on the more established ministerial heopfuls.

It is still way to early to try to call this contest, but I do now expect Hazel Blears and Peter Hain to be the first two candidates eliminated, although I am not sure in what order. I expect much of Blears' support to go to Alan Johnson, while a lot of Hain's will go to Cruddas.

Since Harriet Harman and Cruddas have endorsed eachother, their second prefernces may well transfer to eachother in later ballots. The question is whether there will be enough of them to overtake Mr Benn, and at the moment, you have to say it is looking unlikely.

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grimupnorth said...

Benn is only on the ballot paper thanks to Cruddas.He was "saved" by three Campaign Group Mps absolutely furious that promises of a deal had not been met. So it will be ironic if Benn wins. I think he will.
Many on the left are not buying into criddas's born-again leftism and voting for him in the hope he will be an "honest broker" in the broad church tradition.
My vote is going to be 1.Harman. 2. Benn.Not voting for any of the others......I agree Hain and Blears have had it.Frankly, am siclk of thw whole thing.

grimupnorth said...

By "him" meant Benn.....

Anonymous said...

If you are so sick of it why do you spend every hour of the day blogging about it? You come across as a very, very bitter person.

grimupnorth said...

No I don't spend every hour of the day blogging about it.
And I might be hacked off but at least I don't do anonymous posts.
The fact is Benn IS only there because of the behaviour of the Cruddas camp. So it will be ironic if he wins. I think it's called karma......

Peter Kenyon said...

Dear Paul

You're right. It is too early to call, which is why light can still be shone on the candidates own CLPs, and how much effort each has put into ensuring a vibrant local presence against the Labour Party membership national trend.

Actions speak louder than words.

Anonymous said...


what deal are they supposedly furious about? Sources please. Benn is on the ballot paper with no deals, no promises, no smoke filled rooms.

Splashitallover said...

Grim - I read your comments on various blogs. You're voting Harman first? And you call yourself a left-winger (hard left, as you sometimes say)? Well that's a vanity vote, well done. And Benn is New Labour to his core. Want to know why the left - any variety of the left - never gets anywhere in the Labour Party? Take a look at your ballot paper. Bitter doesn't even begin to express it. The people of the rest of Britain, not in Hebden Bridge, in rather less elevated circumstances, require Cruddas to be at the top table.

grimupnorth said...

Oh please.This is becoming a personality cult. Cruddas has already said he will not be DPM so in what sense will he be at the "top table." If you REALLY think Brown wil take a blind bit of notice you're deluding yourself. How many times do I have to say this?If Cruddas was serious about the policies he espouses he would not have actively helped prevent a leadership contest based on , er, Trident, re-nationalising the railways, no more PFI etc etc. Oh, and the little issue of Party democracy which he cares somuch about . Opimion polls clearly show if John McDonnell had got onthe ballot his support would have rocketed. Had Cruddas not nominated Brown I would have voted for him whatever happened...he did. I'm not.
He may well win in which case let's see what he does.Many on the left are supporting him. Some,like me, are not.
I will be using three of my votes.None of the candidates is my natural choice but Blears and Johnson would be appalling.As for Benn being New labour to the core, well I campaigned with him in 1983 and he was, well, a Bennite.To return tomy original point, Benn is only there at all because of the duplicitous behaviour of Cruddas /Trickett and others. Corbyn, Mike Wood and katy Clark all nominated him at the lastminute. Just step back a minute and ask yourself why.

Toque said...


You seem to have spent a lot of time covering this deputy leadership contest.

Do you think it matters that much? And will it have the slighest bearing on a future Brown government?

Paul Linford said...


It's partly because I find elections fascinating, and this is the only one that's happening at the moment, but yes, I do think it will have some bearing on the Brown Govt, in that it will demonstrate which direction the party membership wants to go in. Gordon may choose to ignore them, but his whole history and track record indicates that he will pay slightly more attention to what his members think than Blair did.

This was covered in more detail in the post entitled "The Deputy Leadership - what it all means" a couple of weeks back.