Before the last election, I had dinner with a Labour minister who told me her number one fear about the Tories getting in would be seeing David Cameron lap up the Olympic limelight. The Olympics, she feared, would hugely benefit whoever happened to be in power – and that was, she feared, going to be Cameron. She needn’t have worried. The Prime Minister was barely visible during the Games (to his credit, he’s not the type to hog limelight). Boris was Boris. But now the games are over, which party leaders have benefited the most?
Oddly, all of them – and Ipsos-Mori polling suggests the number one winner was Ed Miliband. The percent having confidence in his ability to do his job properly has jumped eight points, to 41 per cent. He’s now ahead of Cameron, up five points to 39 per cent and both do better than Nick Clegg, up four points to 31 per cent. Why did they all rise? Because, I suspect, the Olympics meant none were in the headlines. Familiarity quickly turns to contempt in politics, which is why approval ratings are normally a race of who is disliked least. It’s also why the most obscure Cabinet members usually have the best net approval rating: they’re not known enough to be disliked. When Messrs Cameron, Clegg and Miliband get back in the headlines I suspect things will get back to where they were before. The Olympics were entertaining, but I suspect they will have zero party political effect.Tags: Ed Miliband, opinion polls, UK politics