The Grauniad – actually really rather good

by Stephen Tall on September 19, 2007

Have I mentioned yet what a great paper I think The Guardian is? Today this august journal reports an opinion poll showing up who is the least popular leader of a major political party – David Cameron.

The ICM poll was conducted last week, prior to the start of the Lib Dem conference, and reports the following figures for the state of the parties:

Labour – 40%
Conservative – 32%
Lib Dems – 20%

Should we be satisfied with this? Of course not – the Lib Dems can and must do much better. But it is a salutary reminder to those critics who seek constantly to write-off the Lib Dems, and to pretend that three-party politics is a thing of the past, of just how wrong they are.

Here are the figures for the party leaders, showing their net approval ratings first among the public, and then among party supporters:

Gordon Brown: +32% (public), +73% (Labour supporters)
David Cameron: -8% (public), +25% (Tory supporters)
Ming Campbell: -5% (public), +48% (Lib Dem supporters)

Again, should we (or Ming) be satisfied with this? No, but perhaps, just perhaps, the media will give up on their increasingly desperate attempts to stoke rebellion against Ming among party members given there is virtually no appetite among the grassroots for a leadership contest this side of a general election (which might be just a few weeks away). Yes, there are individuals who think Ming should go, and are quite happy to go public on this site and others to call on him to quit. But, as this poll shows, they are very far from being in the majority.

Instead, perhaps, just perhaps, the media might focus on what we’re all here for – drawing up a convincing policy manifesto for the next general election.

But if the media must focus on personality politics, perhaps they could spend the whole of next week asking Tory members how they feel about David Cameron, now officially the least popular political leader among the public and his own party’s supporters. Go on, now, you know you want to.