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Among several important findings of our ComRes poll for The Independent on Sunday this week (here and here), was one figure that explains much of the uncertainty that surrounds Labour’s nine-point lead (and an average seven points, taking the most recent findings of six pollsters):
Fewer than half, 46 per cent, of Labour voters agree that “Ed Miliband is turning out to be a good leader of the Labour Party” (p54 here): 25 per cent disagree; 28 per cent don’t know.
This is the sort of finding that would, if there were a strong alternative candidate for the Labour leadership, escalate “grumbles” into a “leadership crisis” on the journalese scale. But there isn’t such a candidate. Yvette Cooper is not it, despite the anonymous offering by a “Labour insider” yesterday on Political Betting.
Indeed, Cooper has said so herself. Asked if she wanted to be prime minister on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, on 16 July, she said: “I wouldn’t.” (Well spotted by my colleague Jane Merrick).
Instead of having a leadership crisis, therefore, the party seems to be sinking into gloomy defeatism, which is, when Tony Blair is not leader, its default mood.
Typical is a hurtful article for The Scotsman today written by Brian Wilson, the former Labour MP and minister, which starts:
I have never been quite clear about why Ed Miliband wanted to be leader of the Labour Party or why he thought he should be.
Illustration: General BolesTagged in: comres, ed miliband, labour leadership, labour party, opinion polls, Yvette Cooper
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