The mainstream media insists Tony Blair is planning on returning to politics to “save” the Labour Party , and the whole country from Brexit. According to a former Labour strategist if Blair was to return he would crush Theresa May in the polls, and save us all from certain doom.
However, actual polling indicates that Blair is hated by the public, and far from beating May, the complete opposite would happen – the return of Blair would be an absolute disaster for Labour, and they would lose a large percentage of voters to other parties.
Speaking with feverish enthusiasm about a Blair comeback on talkRADIO recently, John McTernan, a former political advisor to Blair claimed that:
He remains one of the most substantial, significant and popular prime ministers the country has had in recent years.
A Labour Party led by Tony Blair today would be leading in the polls against Theresa May, there is no doubt. He is a class player.
This couldn’t be move removed from the truth – actual polling indicates the complete opposite. Tony Blair is generally hated – by voters on all sides of the political spectrum. This is shown by his positivity rating on polling agency YouGov. Blair has an astronomically large negative 66 points for his positivity rating.*see notes at bottom for YouGov methodology
To put this into perspective our current PM Theresa May has a positivity rating of negative 22 – giving May a significant 40 point lead over Blair.
Jeremy Corbyn has the highest popularity rating among the three with a score of negative 10.
This means that Corbyn is more popular (although he is still in negative territory) than Blair and our current PM.
YouGov’s opinion poll shows a similar trend:
Although it is hard to compare these findings, because they are not straightforward comparisons. They do show that Blair is seen overwhelmingly as a money-grabbing, self-serving, dishonest, war criminal.
These ratings indicate that Blair is viewed very negatively when compared to both May, and Corbyn. However, due to the methodology, they are not the most scientific of polls. Luckily YouGov did conduct a far more scientific poll in August this year showing what would be likely to happen if Blair was to return to Labour.
The polled showed that switching the Labour leadership from Corbyn to Blair would lead to a 6 point drop (from 21% – 15%) for Labour voting intention. When stripping out those who wouldn’t vote of don’t know who they vote for this translated into a drop from 27% to 20%. Meaning that a Blair return would lead to a significant drop in the number of voters Labour currently, has.
A Blair leadership would see a large number of voters fleeing the party for the Greens, and Liberal democrats. In return, Blair would be able to bring in a few new voters from the Conservatives, and other parties, but nowhere near enough to offset those who would leave.
These findings indicate that a Blair return would be the worst possible thing that could happen to Labour.
McTernnan said of Blair :
We are missing him, we are missing his ability, to sum up a situation, to lead, to do those things we took for granted when he was around.”
McTernna it seems is speaking for himself here – the British electorate clearly does not miss Blair. The evidence is that they despise him and that he would be a damaging force to Labour should he return in any political form.
McTernan’s opinion sums up everything that is wrong with the Blairite mentality, commanding people to like Tony Blair even though they hate him. This kind of elitism is exactly why Blair and co are so hated.
Polling itself has taken a bit of a battering lately after the false predictions of the Trump, and Brexit campaigns. However polls are at least some indication of reality, yes they can be disputed, and have been proven to be wrong but, in the case of Blair though I think they are more than accurate.
Perhaps it’s time for McTernan to get a grip on reality – rather than making stuff up about Tony Blair’s popularity, he should consult the actual polls, and listen to the public to find out why they hate Blair and co.
But that would require actually listening to the public – Something that Blairites cannot stand the thought of.
YouGov Polling Methodology: Positivity Ratings: Voted for by YouGov members on YouGov’s website. VOLUME shows the total number of ratings at this time, and POSITIVITY shows the positivity score of the last 100 ratings. Opinion Ratings: Every time a member of YouGov adds an opinion about something, they are invited to select the adjectives they would use to describe it.
The numbers shown here simply represent the number of times each adjective has been used to describe this item – by people that like this item (on the right hand side) and by people that dislike it (on the left hand side).YouGov Blair Labour Voting Intentions:Sample Size: 1704 GB Adults Fieldwork: 11th – 12th August 2016