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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Another liability.

According to The Observer Government Ministers believe that Tony Blair risks becoming an electoral liability as he faces fresh accusations that his 'presidential style' is starting to affect Labour's support. Private Labour polling reveals that one of the most important sections of the electorate - married mothers - are deserting the Prime Minister and that the Tories are closing the polling gap.

How much of this is Labour spin to galvanise their core vote, it is difficult to say. These private polls do not leak by accident. Certainly, Labour strategists will not be unhappy to see headlines like these at this stage of the pre-election campaign, when they still have plenty of time to put their plans into action and to amend them if necessary. I would be astonished anyway, if they had even contemplated the sort of presidential campaign that this poll rejects.

The clue is in the sub-text: 'Over the course of the campaign it will become clear this is as much a team effort as it is presidential,' said one senior strategist'; and 'Brown is due to make a key speech in Wolverhampton tomorrow, pledging to put education and adult skills at the heart of his Budget. Three senior women ministers will also unveil new pledges on maternity pay, leave and part-time working........Brown's friends, however, insist he is not sulking and has done 'everything he has been asked to do and more'.

The General Election campaign is well and truly underway.
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