Tuesday, August 22, 2006

McDonnell: why Labour is falling in the polls

Labour leadership contender John McDonnell explains why New Labour is nine points behind the Tories in an opinion poll published in the Guardian today. That’s a 19-year low, by the way:

‘This is just one poll but it adds further evidence to confim the trend of the 2005 general election, the 2006 local elections and other polls that more and more people are losing trust in Tony Blair and New Labour.

‘Labour Party members and the organisations affiliated to the party need to wake up fast to the fact that large numbers of people who have supported us and who have turned out to vote for us in past elections have lost trust in both Blair and New Labour.

‘This breakdown of trust is so fundamental and deep rooted that without sigificant change the party is drifting to loss of office and allowing the return of the Tories.

‘Support for New Labour is falling apart because its policies, particularly its international policies, are not just unpopular but also have meant that members of the public are increasingly feeling that they just can't believe a word the Prime Minister or any government minister or spokesperson tells them any more.

‘Only a radical break with New Labour will restore some basic trust in Labour. Simple changes of personnel in leadership positions won't be enough, especially as all of them - Brown, Reid, Johnson, Hain - have all been architects, advocates and loyal supporters of the existing policies.’

All of this is stating the bleedin’ obvious as far as this blog and presumably a hefty majority of its readers are concerned. I’d be interested in any feedback from Labour lefties on this one. It’s early days yet, but how is the campaign going? What are the plans for the conference season?

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