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Tuesday, August 17, 2010 

100 days later.

Look past the 44% of those who think the coalition is doing a "good job in securing the economic recovery" over the 37% who believe the opposite in the latest ICM/Groan poll, and you'll find that despite this truly overwhelming "support for the cuts-based recovery strategy", as the paper puts it, Labour already finds itself at parity with the Conservatives, both earning 37% support, with the Lib Dems back on 18%.

This could be a rogue poll: it is August after all. Regardless though, as the Graun's archive of the polls going all the way back to 1984 shows, no winning party has so quickly lost its lead over the main opposition. It took 8 months after the 1987 election before Labour reached parity with Conservatives (although it then took another 7 before the party was to take the lead again), and even after Black Wednesday Labour only equalled the Tories' percentage score of voting intentions in the next poll, six months after the election. It would be 13 years before the Tories would come out on top again. This is, as yesterday's post set out, despite the fact that Labour is currently completely rudderless, without a leader let alone a direction, before the cuts have even begun to be properly outlined, let alone bite, and, it should be noted, with the press overwhelmingly supportive of both the coalition (or at least the Conservative part of it) and that aforementioned "cuts-based recovery strategy".

True, this is still all but meaningless for the moment, and it shows that support for the Liberal Democrats, despite ratings in other polls, is holding up well, even if down 6% on the election result. No one's going to be too worried about Labour drawing level in the middle of the silly season, even if it marks the coalition's 100th day. What's really going to be interesting to see is whether Labour starts to squeeze both the Lib Dem and Tory support; 37% in any case is hardly a bad place to be after 3 and a bit months.

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