A YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph produces the rather unsurprising finding that Tony Blair’s government is now thought to be sleazier than John Major’s was once thought. In 1997 only 19% of voters recognised Labour as sleazy and disreputable. 62% thought it of the Conservatives. Today just one-third of voters think it of the Conservatives but 63% think it of Tony Blair’s New Labour.
Other key findings of the poll:
- 65% do think that Labour raised money by offering peerages for loans;
- Exactly the same proportion think Blair knew that this was happening;
- 82% think that Tony Blair has failed to clean up politics;
- Only 25% support greater state funding of political parties in order to try and clean up politics – 59% think it wouldn’t clean up politics or they don’t favour the move.
The poll coincides with a report in The Times which suggests that "The Labour Party has run up the biggest debts in its history at £27.2 million." "Almost half," Andrew Pierce reports, "is owed to a dozen rich businessmen who are demanding repayment."
The figure is not quoted in the main poll but Simon Heffer – discussing ‘Dodgy Dave’s’ EPP shift – reports that "51 per cent of the public say they find the Conservative Party untrustworthy."
Donal Blaney, author of the Laws of the Public Policy Process series on YourPlatform, uses this week’s law to attack David Cameron’s failure to deliver the "months, not years" exit from the EPP:
"These are now dangerous times because trust, once lost, is very hard (if not impossible) to regain. David Cameron cannot get away from the fact that a vast swathe of the Party’s membership in the Commons, Brussels and in constituencies will feel badly let down by what has happened this week. It may even be the case that many on the Right who had kept their counsel until now on Project Cameron may no longer feel compelled to do so anymore."