Good Week, Bad Week 23/01/11…


Good Week

Nick Clegg- Clegg has had a good week by nothing bad happening in or around his party, and the Lib Dems’ poll ratings stabilising.

Ed Miliband- Miliband has had a mixed week with Alan Johnson’s resignation and Andy Coulson leaving his role at No.10. The Coulson story is good news for Miliband short term as it gives him a platform to question Cameron’s judgement, but long term I see it not making much of an impact with voters. Johnson’s resignation means Miliband has been forced into an early reshuffle which looks to have strengthened his and Labour’s position (if he can keep his Shadow Cabinet under control). A major reason why I would say Miliband has had a good week over a bad week is Labour’s poll ratings. Labour are consistently polling above forty percent in nearly every poll now which is great news for them this early in the electoral cycle.

Ed Balls- Alan Johnson’s resignation means Balls has had a good week. Balls is undoubtedly substance over style, with his combative approach being very love/hate for the voting public. If Miliband can control him and stop him from taking control of the party’s direction, Balls could prove the driving force behind Labour winning seats at the next election. That’s a very big “if” however.

Yvette Cooper- Cooper’s appointment to Shadow Home Secretary means she will be in role where she can actively attack the Coalition. As I have stated previously, the role of Shadow Foreign Secretary is basically a role in that you agree with the Government on every subject, which is not Cooper’s style.

Bad Week-

David Cameron- Andy Coulson’s resignation has masked a poor week for the Prime Minister. Inflation is higher than expected, unemployment figures are still very high and the Coalition’s NHS reforms have been greeted with criticism from medical professionals, not just Labour. Cameron will replace Coulson with a similar personality and I doubt the voting public will punish the Tories at the ballot box for any subsequent revelations of phone hacking involving the ex-editor of The News of the World. Long term, Cameron needs to establish a narrative that Labour cannot be trusted with the economy, and Ed Balls’ appointment to Shadow Chancellor may have made that job slightly easier.

Alan Johnson- Johnson’s resignation means he is the last of the Blairites to leave a senior role in the Shadow Cabinet. His presence helped “balance the ticket” higher up in the Shadow Cabinet and without him I have doubts the Labour party can avoid moving away from the centre ground of British politics to the left. As for Johnson’s political career, I suspect he’ll walk away at the next General Election with little fanfare.

Andy Coulson- Coulson leaving his role at No.10 asks more questions than it answers as to further allegations of phone hacking. For the Tories it means he is now not associated with them and so the only damage going forward will be opposition jibes about Cameron’s judgement in employing Coulson. Personally for Coulson I expect him to take a very low profile role in the city.

Liam Byrne- Byrne cannot be relishing the thought of going up against Iain Duncan Smith week in, week out in his new portfolio of Work and Pensions can he?

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