Posts Tagged ‘political body language’

The right posture can really help a squeezed middle

14/03/2011, 07:00:37 AM

by Michael Dugher

There were some interesting polls this weekend. The latest YouGov one on voting intentions for the Sunday Times put Labour on 44 per cent, the Tories on 33 per cent and the Lib Dems clinging onto double figures on just ten per cent.  In fairness to the Lib Dems, the survey of voting intentions was conducted prior to their spring conference held in Sheffield this weekend.  They may receive a post-conference boost – and pigs might fly. ComRes also had a poll on voting intentions for the Independent on Sunday and the Sunday Mirror. That put Labour’s lead at three points, not eleven. But at this stage of the electoral cycle, polls on voting intentions don’t really count for much. It’s a bit like deciding who is going to win the premier league by looking at the table after the first six matches have been played.

Far more interesting was the ComRes data about attitudes to the economy, which suggests that public opinion is going against the Tory-led coalition. Only 23 per cent agree that George Osborne is “on my side” in dealing with the country’s economic problems. By contrast, nearly half of our respondents think that, when Ed Miliband talks about the “squeezed middle”, he is talking about “people like me and my family”.

As the Independent on Sunday’s John Rentoul wrote at the weekend: “the Labour leader seems to have struck a chord with his warning of a ‘cost of living’ crisis”.  But Rentoul is no fan of Ed Miliband and he likes Ed Balls even less. In fact, he may just have a problem with people called Ed. When Ed Balls wrote an article in the Sun, siding with hard-pressed motorists and arguing against the VAT rise – something Balls has done more consistently perhaps than almost anyone else – Rentoul denounced the move on Twitter as “opportunism”.  If Tony Blair had written a similar piece for the Sun, Rentoul would undoubtedly have said how “in touch” the former prime minister was. (more…)

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