Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Are the polls believable?

Normally any partisan beast or supposedly "neutral" commentator will have one of two attitudes to opinion polls. When they show the result one wants it becomes a stick to beat others with. When they don't show the result there is no end of nonsense about the way in which polls are compiled, together with that classic statement "The only poll that matters is the general election," which is politician-speak for "We are going to lose big time."

But I have to say I am finding some of the current opinion polls to be too good to be true. Maybe that means on election night I'm going to enjoy the result, maybe it means I'll be able to say "Told you so," to anyone who can't strangle me. The latest poll suggests that Gordon Brown has a worse approval rating now than Iain Duncan Smith did. (The Times: Gordon Brown slides to record poll low as crucial vote looms)

Now I can remember the two years of Iain Duncan Smith's leadership and I have to say I don't recall being particularly depressed by the whole affair. Maybe that's because after four years of William Hague, when things did get very depressing, just doing about the same was at least familiar. Certainly I viewed the events of Halloween 2003 with a degree of dread that changing the leader could get the party into an even worse mess than it was already in. As it happened I was proved wrong. But I can understand why Labour are scared to even consider a new leader, quite apart from a rulebook that makes a leadership challenge less likely than Downing Street being invaded by Elvis Presley and Lord Lucan riding on the back of the Loch Ness Monster.

But will Gordon Brown see it that way? I think Iain Dale puts it well: I Wouldn't Want to be a Mobile Phone in No 10 Tonight.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...