Sunday, 8 June 2008

Labour continues to break records...

. ...of the wrong kind from it's point of view. No surprises in the latest ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph which confirm the upward swing of the Conservatives and the collapse of Labour. It has the Conservatives on 42%, Labour on 26% and the Liberal Democrats on 21%. A few points are worth making; this poll comes too early to assess any damage done to the standing of the Conservatives over the recent expenses scandal although personally I expect the damage to be minimal.

A second point is that the same poll showed a huge majority - 65%, actually support the government in the upcoming vote on extending the limit to 42 days detention without trial. I am not altogether sure support in wider society is that overwhelming but it does show that this vote is very crucial to the future of the government. If it wins then it may well restore some lost credibility, if it loses then although the public may well be 'on it's side' it will add further to the impression of a government adrift and unable to exercise authority and thus benefit the opposition.

From the point of view of the Liberal Democrat's it was a good poll (although we always poll well with ICM), especially for those where our party is in second place to Labour. It presents the real possibility that we could be the beneficiaries of a swing away from Labour in those seats, however our position vis a vie the Conservatives is obviously of more concern. Henley will be a crucial test of how well we can stand up to the advancing blue tide.

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