Friday, May 16, 2008

Four out of five readers back leadership change

For the past fortnight since the local election debacle I have been running a Poll on who should lead the Labour Party into the next general election. Gordon Brown was of course included in the shortlist, but the results show that, however much support he retains among Labour Party members, readers of this blog at any rate are less than enthused by his leadership.

Although Brown topped the poll with 20pc of the vote, four out of five of those who took part backed other candidates, with Jack Straw and Jon Cruddas the next most favoured. Furthermore there are strong suggestions that some of those who want to keep Brown in place were Tories - there was a surge of votes for the Prime Minister after my commentary piece last weekend was linked to by Guido Fawkes, sending traffic temporarily through the roof.

The full results were:

Gordon Brown 20%
Jack Straw 15%
Jon Cruddas 14%
David Miliband 13%
Alan Johnson 11%
John McDonnell 7%
Ed Balls 6%
Hilary Benn 6%
John Denham 5%
Alan Milburn 2%

Since the poll began Gordon has obviously launched a fairly determined fightback with this week's emergency Budget and draft Queen's Speech, and I'll be saying a bit more about the potential impact of this in my weekly column which will be on here from tomorrow morning.

One name I didn't include in the list was James Purnell, mainly because I view him as an incurable lightweight. However Fraser Nelson of the Spectator, who knows more about these things than I do, has since penned this piece arguing that Purnell, not David Miliband, is now the great hope of the Blairite faction.

I was in London yesterday and read a scandalous piece in the Standard's Londoner's Diary suggesting the Speccie has turned against Miliband because its editor Matthew d'Ancona's wife Sarah, who is Miliband's special adviser, has left him. This is so outrageous that it either has to be (a) true or (b) a particularly unfortunate case of a journalist putting two and two together and making seventeen.

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MorrisOx said...

With great respect to Fraser Nelson, your own instincts about Purnell are absolutely spot-on.

While Derek Mapp is far from a disinterested observer on the subject of Purnell, his description of him as a 'greasy pole-climber' is pretty much all there is to it. There is no great philosophical depth and a long track-record of over-titled under-achievement in the public sector.

Purnell is ambitious, without doubt, and more than capable of the modern ministrial trait of confronting all the evidence head-on and still concluding he was right in the first place.

A true giant? Well, a little bit taller than a grande latte, anyway...

Unknown said...

I voted for Gordon. He's a titan.

Imposs1904 said...

I'm neither a fan of the Labour Party or of Gordon Brown, but if you were to ask me who would be the best candidate to lead the Labour Party at the next election - if Brown were to fall under a bus - it would have to be Alan Johnson.

AJ not winning the Deputy Leadership could have been the best thing ever to happen to him.