The latest Cabinet league table is pasted above. Here’s the usual scattering of observations:
- Osborne in freefall. George Osborne just managed to hold on to the top spot in our future leader poll, despite having his lead diminished by the tax credits row. Here he plummets down the list. He was first, with a satisfaction rating of 79.9, last month, Now he’s eighth, with a rating of 48.8. I think this is the biggest one-month fall suffered by any minister in one of our tables.
- A graph to prove it. In fact, Osborne’s new rating is his lowest for over two years. To unveil the full horror of it, I’ve updated a graph comparing Osborne’s and Boris’s scores. It’s to the right; you can click for a larger version. The Chancellor had surpassed the Mayor of London for six surveys in a row. No longer.
- The fallout spreads. Osborne isn’t the only one who appears to be tangled up in tax credits. The leader of the House of Lords, Baroness Stowell, has shed over 13 points since last month, which places her at the bottom of the table for the first time. This suggests that Tory members aren’t just unhappy with the Chancellor’s original policy – they’re also unhappy, perhaps paradoxically, with how it was defeated in the Lords.
- Go-go-gove. But enough unhappiness. What about Michael Gove? He’s gained over five points since last month, and now tops the table. Happily, this coincides with the Justice Secretary talking about reforming prisons rather than just stuffing them up. Perhaps reform isn’t just necessary, but appreciated.
- Halfon Watch. And Robert Halfon puts in a good showing too. He’s now sixth, with a rating of 55.9, which is quite something for someone who lacks the prominence of some of his colleagues, and who made his debut in the table only a few months ago.