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Can Brown take hope from Major in 1992?

August 27th, 2009

Could the polls be as wrong now as they were then?

If there is one precedent that could provide some hope for Brown Central it is John Major’s surprise victory in the general election of April 9th 1992.

In the year or so beforehand the Tory government’s by-election performance was even worse than Labour’s at the moment and with the exception of one or two polls all the pollsters were pointing to a dead heat in vote numbers as the best Tory outcome.

Yet come election day John Major’s party came in with a vote margin of more than seven percent above what Labour achieved and won their fourth successive election victory.

The main difference between now and then was that the Tories never dropped out of the 30s – and, of course, all the polls were un-reformed and there was a systemic bias towards Labour.

Also in terms of political skill and appeal my judgement is that David Cameron is miles ahead of Neil Kinnock.

But Labour can hope.

Please note: I’m staying in a part of the Lake District which appears to be a total Vodafone black-spot. I have no reception or any other internet access. This post, as they say, has been “prepared earlier.

Mike Smithson