Coffee House

Labour poll blow: party anger could focus on shadow cabinet

13 May 2014

11:20 AM

13 May 2014

11:20 AM

What will the Labour fallout, if any, from today’s polls, be? Generally when this sort of bad news befalls to the Conservative party, the gossip turns quickly to David Cameron’s standing as leader. But in the Labour case, it’s a bit more complicated. This is partly because the party tends to feel far more loyal to Miliband than Conservative MPs do. They feel as though he tends to invest in them personally – even those who didn’t support his leadership or are unhappy with his policies. And so they’re less likely to turn on him.

The knives have already been out for Douglas Alexander for some time, with shadow cabinet members talking more and more about their frustration with key aspects of the party’s campaign for the European elections and for the general election. But as James reported in March, Alexander has warned colleagues that Labour cannot expect to have the kind of poll leads it did before previous election victories because of the advent of four-party politics – and he will be hoping that this advice will be recalled this week.

But there’s also a chance that the party will come after the Shadow Cabinet as much as it will come after the leader. Once Labour MPs get warmed up about the problems with their party, they’re more likely to complain that the Shadow Cabinet isn’t pulling its weight, that there are only a few names who are bothering to go out and bat for Ed Miliband. Those are Sadiq Khan, Rachel Reeves, and sometimes Chuka Umunna (although one senior party figure damned him faintly with praise to me recently, saying that ‘Chuka can be good’). But those are the only names that crop up regularly. The others may want to put in a bit more legwork if they don’t want to get caught up in a headless chicken stampede.

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Show comments
  • Iain Hill

    WDA needs to be shunted off to a more fulfilling career which will exploit his talents. A probationer teacher, perhaps? A traffic warden? An Oxfam chugger

  • Tim Reed

    “The others may want to put in a bit more legwork if they don’t want to get caught up in a headless chicken stampede.”

    This highlights their main problem though. Aside from the fact that they have no policies on which to campaign, almost all of those senior faces from the Shadow Cabinet have links to the previous Labour misadministration, reminding everyone sensible of just who, and what, they would be voting for.

  • ButcombeMan

    “Its the economy stupid” or rather voter perception of economic competence.

    As long as Balls is there, Labour have none.

    Milliband lacks the guts to do what in his heart he knows he must.

  • Mr Creosote

    They’d go up 5 points if they got rid of Harman

  • Denis_Cooper

    I’m wondering how much Chuka Ummuna should be held responsible for helping UKIP to drag Labour’s poll rating down below that of the Tories, which is what has happened.

    I’ll repeat the only two findings from the Guardian/ICM poll:

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/12/support-labour-drops-tories-lead-guardian-icm-poll

    which have a reasonable statistical significance:

    Labour down 6%
    UKIP up 4%.

    Question Time typically attracts about 3 million viewers, of whom maybe a million would be people minded to vote Labour; and just under 30 million people voted in the 2010 general election; so that million would be roughly equivalent to 3% in the opinion polls.

    I wonder how many of those million viewers who were minded to vote Labour changed their minds when they saw Labour’s Chuka Umunna taking the lead in trying to shout down Nigel Farage, and then being told directly by Farage that he was either deliberately lying, or he was pig ignorant, during the last five minutes of the last programme:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCSfSjM-moA

    Most people in this country are fair-minded and they don’t like seeing four people ganging up to try to stop one person saying his piece when it is his turn to speak.

    • John Dalton

      Couldn’t agree more. As soon as Umunna opened Question Time with his “I’m the son of immigrants” spiel I knew exactly which way the programme was going to go – except it didn’t work.

      Farage was on fighting form and I hope viewers could see clearly how he was being ganged up on by the other four parties – who are ALL essentially saying the SAME THING: shut up and get used to more Europe, more immigrants, and more displacement and don’t you dare complain.

      • swatnan

        Sayeeda Warsi took on the leader of the BNP, much to her credit, in the samre way that Chuka took on Farage. The Far Right and UKIP must be challenged and not allowed to get away with it.

        • Swiss Bob

          You should worry about the filth in your own party. Racists, bigots and child molesters, that’s your party that is.

        • Geoff103

          UKIP have little or no ideological positioning. They are merely the party of disaffected, loud-mouthed saloon bar bores.

          True, they’re making rather more noise at the moment, which is why they are more prominent. However, in age when pubs up and down the land are disappearing or becoming restaurant/pubs , those that cling to the beer tankards with their foot on the bar rail because they have little else to do in life assume rather more prominence than is usual.

          When their haunts morph into more restaurant style pubs, the other customers will rapidly shush their empty-headed moaning as it would otherwise spoil the meal.

          You’ll see around May 2015, I reckon.

          • Denis_Cooper

            “UKIP have little or no ideological positioning”

            That’s apart from being the only party which has withdrawal from the EU as its primary objective under its constitution.

            And also some chance of actually bringing that about.

            • Geoff103

              That’s not an ideology; just a generalised rant that ‘there should be a law against it”

              • Denis_Cooper

                What you mean is, “There should be a law to repeal that law passed by the archtraitor Heath in 1972”.

                It may not matter to some whether we are governed by our own democratic institutions or by the EU, but it does matter
                to others including UKIP.

                • HookesLaw

                  We are not governed by the EU – if we were then the pathetic UKIP attendances at the EU parliament would be even more traitorous than they already are.

                • Denis_Cooper

                  We are more than half governed by the EU, and it wouldn’t bother you if we were entirely governed by the EU provided that those at the top of your treacherous party could hold the offices in the puppet government.

                • Geoff103

                  ‘archtraitor Heath’…does he share a special place in your affections alongside war-criminal Blair?

          • HookesLaw

            saloon bar bigots

            • Rhoda Klapp8

              Bigoted in favour of the British people. Who do you prefer? Or is Wallingford largely free of immigrants?

              • HookesLaw

                So you admit to being bigoted? Is Lenny Henry British? Or should he go back to Africa like a kipper said? Farage is peddling intolerance as a substitute for policy and ideas and to hide his big lie.

                • Grey Wolf

                  Is Lenny Henry British? A rhetorical question designed to make people uncomfortable and defensive. Why did you bring it up? Why is it even relevant here?

                • Adam Carter

                  That is a huge distortion, as I am confident you know.
                  Lenny Henry commented that he wanted more black faces on TV. That is a racist comment; it judges people on the colour of their skin.
                  The UKIP person didn’t say he should go ‘back’, as I am sure you know. And he didn’t say ‘to Africa’ as I am sure you know.
                  He simply told Lenny Henry where he could go if he wanted to see more black faces on TV.
                  The UKIPer’s comment may have been insnsitive, but Lenny Henry’s comment was racist.

                • Cyril Sneer

                  “Is Lenny Henry British”

                  He seems to have an issue working with whites, which is unfortunate for him considering he is British.

          • Rhoda Klapp8

            That is all happening. In your head. You have no evidence at all, but I suppose you don’t need any.

            • Geoff103

              Ah here she is, the official spokesperson for the claptrap movement

        • MirthaTidville

          UKIP and the far right have nothing in common so firstly you are the one who needs to be challenged.Secondly these LibLabCon clowns still havent realised that when it comes to street politics, Farage is the master. They prove this by shouting their mouths off on things like QT..If Liebour is the answer the question must be toxic

          • HookesLaw

            Farage is pushing intolerance and hatred as far as he can.

        • atticus1900
        • Grey Wolf

          Sayeeda Warsi – a softer, cleverer apologist for Islamism. Eject her from British politics

          Umunna’s conduct at BBC QT was disgraceful. Shouting someone down is not the same as challenging.

        • McRobbie

          Methinks you misjudge the feeling of many in the country if you think that UKIP is supported by the far right..there are more voices from the left leaning working class about a number of issues that UKIP shout about… the EU is one of them, but it is the immigration policy stupid for many and that comes back mainly to the EU freedom of borders that lets in far too many benefits scammers and criminals who cannot be kicked out.

        • Cyril Sneer

          “The Far Right and UKIP”

          The BBC regard UKIP as far right, whilst they regard the neo-nazis and jew haters of Right Sector as “Right Wing”. See the beebs article on the Trade Union atrocity in Ukraine if you do not believe me. Blatant propaganda.

          You work it out.

        • Fergus Pickering

          To get away with what?

    • Grey Wolf

      Completely agree. They all ganged up on Farage especially towards the end. Umunna’s conduct was particularly despicable. I am sure it annoyed a whole bunch of voters and produced some advantage for UKIP.

      On Umunna, who the heck does he think he is? Some sort of UK’s version of Obama? What achievements of his can we even discuss? But the guy does seem to be loud-mouthed!

  • cosyblackbird

    Four party politics is no excuse for labour’s small lead, given that the Lib dem vote has shrunk, mainly because of defections to labour, and that ukip also takes mainly from the Tories. There being three parties to split the right-of centre vote should boost lab’s lead

    • Alexsandr

      Um
      UKIP are taking votes from Labour and the limp Dumps are not right of centre.

      • cosyblackbird

        But ukip are taking differentials far more votes from the Cons, so the net effect of their existence should be to increase lab’s lead…and whether or not the LDs are right of centre (who can say?) most of their remaining voters certainly are, which amounts to the same thing.

  • Alexsandr

    thanks for the photo at the top of the article. I have been reminded to post a letter.

    • wycombewanderer

      She’s got some neck that Yvette Cooper hasn’t she?

      Quite literally!

      • Alexsandr

        giraffe or Jackie charlton

      • Mr Creosote

        Unlike Balls, who appears to have no neck.

  • swatnan

    Its a bit late in the day to make any changes at the top of the Labour Leadership.
    Labour has to just gird up its loins and make the best of what we’ve got. But come the aftermath in 2015, there’s going to be a massive clearout of dead wood. I hope.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      And the country can just go hang because all that matters is that a bunch of left wing scum who feel they are entitled to exercise power get what they see as their birthright. The fact that they are devoid of anything resembling a credible policy on anything is irrelevant. The fact that they could not be trusted to run a whelk stall let alone the economy is similarly irrelevant. All that matters is that this coterie of entitled, incompetent, sanctimonious imbeciles have another go at wrecking Britain. How big a structural deficit do you want this time around?

      • Cyril Sneer

        Amen brother, amen.

    • Alexsandr

      wont be much left then, will there?

      • snowright

        Nothing at all thankfully!!

      • swatnan

        Fantastic new intake of MPs like Chuka and Rushnara and Sadiq to step in. The future looks brighter for Labour.

        • Alexsandr

          Yes, Chuckup is getting lots of exposure on Guido being exposed for being a 2 faced opportunistic champagne socialist.

        • McRobbie

          All with greater intellectual self confidence than any tory or lib dem or UKIP…I’m rolling about with larfter.

    • Cyril Sneer

      “But come the aftermath in 2015, there’s going to be a massive clearout of dead wood”

      Hopefully involving an assortment of firearms and a ton of ammunition.

  • glassfet

    Ed Balls was the third choice for Shadow Chancellor. He should have been sacked much earlier, but shuffling him out after conference could still rescue some of Labour’s vote

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Let’s hope they keep the amoral imbecile in place then.

  • Hello

    “This is partly because the party tends to feel far more loyal to Miliband than Conservative MPs do”

    It’s also because Miliband is pure Labour. Cameron wanted to change the perception of the Conservative party so he cast himself as a bit of an outsider, adopting some lefty policies. Miliband didn’t. So Cameron can be ditched, and the core Conservative voters would probably welcome it, but if Miliband were ditched it would shake Labour’s core support.

    If you’re in the Labour party there is nothing you can do about Miliband other than distance yourself from the train wreck and wait for it to happen.

    • Alexsandr

      if they didtched millipede, it would up set his union paymasters.

  • RavenRandom

    Well if the class war party political was anything to go by, Labour have no policies and their campaign is run by spotty left-wing sixth formers… “Ew look at the evil Tories, they’re evil… and posh.”

    • John Dalton

      In my view Coffehouse should post less and focus on saying things that are of real interest – and hold all three of the main parties up to vigorous scrutiny (not just UKIP).

      I don’t care whether someone in Labour thinks Chuka could be good and I can probably predict that Labour are going to be just as worried as the Tories by UKIP’s lead in the polls – after all, they’re the two cheeks of the same backside who have spent the last twenty years enforcing an agenda that most people in this country didn’t want and can’t stand.

      • RavenRandom

        Like it…”two cheeks of the same backside”. True UKIP wouldn’t need to exist if a large proportion of the population didn’t feel disenfranchised.
        When profound changes are made or are contemplated being made to society then it should be explicit or put to a referendum. Mass immigration and a European superstate qualify.

    • telemachus

      You had better believe we are a country of the haves and have nots
      This will become clearer as the General election nears and Osborne makes the mistake of trumpeting the recovery figures with the codon “you have never had it so good”
      Those at the bottom will look at the cost of living and vote accordingly
      *
      Remember the only poll that counts is the May 7 2015 poll

      • Swiss Bob

        Always attaching yourself to the top post you horrible little troll.

        Your party will be lucky to be the opposition the rate your poll ratings are dropping. Which Ed are you going to get rid of, thick or thicker?

        • Inverted Meniscus

          What a choice. Like being asked if you prefer gangrene or syphilis.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Blah,blah,blah,blah,blah.

      • RavenRandom

        That’s pretty weak tele… You have a crystal ball do you? Relying now on Osborne saying something really stupid at precisely the wrong moment? Possible but not likely. I suspect Miliband with “more intellectual self-confidence actually” is more likely to say something dumb.

        • telemachus

          It is the message being given out now with the standard Yah Boo to Ed Balls
          The poor and squeezed middle hear it with incredulity as they push their trollies around Aldi

          • RavenRandom

            You don’t even believe your own lacklustre propaganda at the moment do you?
            And as to Ed Balls… well he was wrong about everything and he’s electoral poison… apart from that he’s wonderful.
            Not seen him out bigging up Ed recently; sharpening his knife is he?

            • telemachus

              what I do or do not believe is not relevant to the fact that the Tories keep harping on how buoyant the economy is
              while the bulk of ordinary folk feel poorer

          • sarah_13

            Well my mother goes to lidl, and she would be insulted to be referred to as “the poor or squeezed middle”, who is this person that you refer to? Does Ms “poor or squeezed middle” live in manchester by any chance, because we haven’t seen her?

            • telemachus

              Go down to Hulme or Ardwick to see child poverty or travel North to Heaton, Bolton to see the squeezed middle

              • sarah_13

                I know the areas well, especially Hulme its marginally better than its been during 13 years of labour, same for Ardwick simply incorrect to pin that on this government.

              • Fergus Pickering

                Do the children have shoes, that is the question.

          • Fergus Pickering

            I go to Aldi. So does everyone. Their gin and chocolate biscuits are particularly good.

      • Cyril Sneer

        You imply that there is some real tangible difference between Lab Lib Con, there isn’t. The lefty fake class war is just an excuse to hate the wealthy and gain votes, the reality is that liblabcon will f ck you over regardless as they want the same things. Only UKIP offers an alternative.

    • Monkey_Bach

      “Ew look at the evil Tories, they’re evil… and posh.”

      Well, that’s true isn’t it?

      • RavenRandom

        Yes. If you’re an indoctrinated seven year old. One of the strange things about left wingers is their assumption that people who disagree with them don’t just have a different point of view, but in fact are evil.
        It’s childish but predictable.

        • Monkey_Bach

          Actually it’s called a joke. Although thinking about it many Tories are not posh: for example Grant Shapps, Nadeen Dorries and Priti Patel are all as common as muck and all as black-hearted and as rotten to the core as Satan himself.

          • RavenRandom

            Ok sorry.

      • sarah_13

        Is it true? Are all tories evil and posh ? Are there any non-posh tories? Does someone who went to comprehensive school in manchester who votes tory mean that in fact some tories aren’t actually posh, but may or may not be evil? Is it only the posh ones who are evil? Are the other non-posh ones evil also? Gosh these tories are complex.

        • Monkey_Bach

          Please see my reply to Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms RavenRandom immediately above.

          • sarah_13

            I see, a retrospective joke. Very clever.

          • Fergus Pickering

            The point of a joke is that it should be funny. I think you fail..

      • Fergus Pickering

        Nope. Tories are good and kind.

  • wycombewanderer

    The latest wheeze has fallen apart already doctors leaders claim the cost of his 48 hour pledge will be 3 billion not 100 million as he claims!

    • Tony_E

      And wouldn’t make any difference. Nearly all surgeries are impossible to make appointments in now – the format is for emergency walk in surgeries to be the norm. (same day, but wait your turn)

      Non ’emergency’ appointments are now very limited, and access to community nursing very restricted. This was due in part to the original 48 hour pledge, and the cost of the previous GP contracts and out of hours service changes.

      • HookesLaw

        Don’t talk rubbish. I am able to make appointments OK and so is my aged mother in law.

        • Tony_E

          If you can do that within 48 hours, please post your location, I might like to move there!!

        • Alexsandr

          try getting appointments to fit in with other commitments. The health service seem to think we are all at home twiddling our thumbs.

          • HookesLaw

            My surgery is open ’til 6 and on Saturday morning.
            Your comment is pretty stupid really – just what hours do you expect surgeries to be open? And you are doubly stupid if ]you think a doctors work is done when surgery closes.

            • Alexsandr

              Saturdays. not where I live
              I don’t think supermarkets work is done when they close but I expect them to be open when I can get there. Shops don’t all close at 5 like they used to. The GP service needs to get in the 21st century.
              My dentist does evenings and Saturday mornings.
              I see no reason why they cant do 1 evening per week till 8 and a couple of Saturdays a month.
              I am not asking for longer hours from the doctors. just a little flexibility.
              So I am not stupid. You are the daft one accepting the status quo on everything. You seem to have very low expectations.

    • snowright

      Oh come on now – didn’t you know that ‘wise and capable’ Burnham has disputed the 3 billion figure saying that the Labour plans are ‘clear and costed’.
      We believe you – yeah right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Alexsandr

        Burnham should be in jail for Stafford.

        • Grey Wolf

          Totally agree. Its annoying to even see the guy’s mug on TV. And then he begins to talk. OMG! Throw him out of politics, dear voters.

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    Far be it from me to give advice to Labour, but if they didn’t go to quite the same lengths to make themselves completely bloody unelectable, they might do better, as people have short memories.

    • Tony_E

      Not short enough I fear.

      They can be several points behind and Miliband will still be PM – I suspect that the LIberal Democrats will prop up Labour if they are left a choice, so rancorous has the current coalition become.

      We have always been heading to a broad coalition of the left anyway, just as we are probably heading towards a broad coalition of the right. In the end, there are two diametrically opposed philosophies- big state, high spend and controlled economies, or small state free economics. The rest is nuance and moves with the times.

      The big argument we perhaps once thought was won is now open again.

      • wycombewanderer

        It depends what happens in the backbench lotery to introduce a bill.

        If it’s won by a conservative and he proposes another referendum bill labour and lib dems will oppose it again in the lords giving Cameron a perfect excuse to use the parliament act to push it into law and sod the coalition as there will only be a few months to go.

        He can then go into the election as the man who has delivered a referendum and will burst UKIPs bubble and show that labour and the lib dems are anti democratic.

        • Tony_E

          I’d like to see that happen, but I wonder if somehow the process will be rigged against it. It’s an open secret that the ‘establishment’ is very much pro EU – but how deep does the establishment’s writ run?

          • McRobbie

            Totally agree, the trade union and public sector establishment are all hollande lovers and cant wait to get to grips with his method of solving the economic crisis.

        • MirthaTidville

          Cameron push a Euro referendum into law?????…..you serious???

        • the viceroy’s gin

          It would require at least this much for the Cameroons to win an election. If they were trustworthy, it wouldn’t take so much, and even this would leave them under suspicion.

      • Alexsandr

        the limp dems have no right to govern in 2015. If, as expected they lose a large part of their popular vote, they have absolutely no mandate for government.

    • Shazza

      I hope they remain unelectable for the next 50 years. It will take at least that long to remedy the damage they inflicted on this country and it’s good people during their disastrous 13 year Reign of Terror.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        13 years!!! It felt like a thousand.

        • Cyril Sneer

          “Thousand year Reich”

      • Tim Reed

        …only 50?

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