James Forsyth

Labour still in danger of drifting onto the rocks

Labour still in danger of drifting onto the rocks
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Today’s Economist poll on Northern Rock is a belated birthday present for Gordon Brown. Only 5 percent believe the government is most responsible for the crisis and people are more impressed with Brown and Darling’s handling of it now than they were a month ago. But what will really cheer up the PM is that almost 60 percent of the public think the Tories are playing politics with the issue and only one in five say that David Cameron and George Osborne would have done any better.

However, this doesn’t mean that the danger has passed for Labour. There are still, as The Economist points out, a whole bunch of problems for Labour—the management of the bank, the inevitable job loses, the repossessions to name but a few—to deal with. There is also the fact that little stories about Northern Rock are going to crop up on a regular basis until the government manages to get the bank back into the public sector, a tricky operation in and of itself. In short, Northern Rock could still destroy Labour's ratings on the economic question.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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