Friday, 18 March 2016

Corbyn's Labour Ahead in the Polls

For the first time since Jeremy Corbyn's surprise victory in the Labour leadership contest, an opinion poll has them above the Tories:

A new poll has put Labour ahead of the Conservatives for the first time since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader.
A recent poll by ICM had put the Conservatives and Labour level on 36 per cent, but some had thought this might have just been a one-off, freak result.
Sadly, as someone who likes Corbyn more than not, this is probably a feature of disaffection with the current government more than anything else.  The recent Budget announcement probably exacerbated discontent with the economy and government cuts.  And we still see large discontent with both parties, with a third of the electorate preferring someone else, most notably UKIP (spit).

Still, it is something.  As the most left-wing leader of a major UK party in several decades, Corbyn has been attacked a lot by the British press1 . After all, he wants to do dangerous things like undo the run away success that is the privatisation of the railways, or discuss if nuclear weapons are worth the price.  Or, most damningly of all, raise taxes on ordinary people who just happen to be rich enough to own newspapers.  To be ahead despite this shows that there is some hope the British electorate can, on occasion, do the right thing.

On a slightly different note, apparently one problem the Tories have had is the current debate over the EU.
Anthony Wells, YouGov’s director, said the Conservatives’ “Euro squabbles” were “hurting the party’s image”.
When its poll was published on Monday, ICM warned it might just be a “rogue” result.  But it also said the Tories’ splits over the European Union could be hurting its level of support.
This just baffles me.  It's a sign of weakness that not all members of a political party agree on something?  It's not that I doubt people might actually think this way.  I just don't know why.  But then, I tend to think that debate is a sign of strength, respectful disagreement a sign of healthy society and that complex problems usually don't have simple answers; opinions that I suspect the majority don't share.

1 And to think I once smugly looked down on the American news media.

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