Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Oxford Brookes Lecturer writes on electoral prospects in The Independent

Monday, 16 September 2013

Dr Glen O'Hara, Reader in the History of Public Policy at Oxford Brookes, has contributed another of his semi-regular blogs to the online content of The Independent. In it he takes a look at opinion poll numbers since 1945, and concludes that recent assessments of the Labour Party's 'weak' and 'disappointing' polling position are rather overdone. As he concludes: 'new Oppositions have never consistently done very well at this stage of their struggles through the political wilderness. Only Heath in 1968, and Thatcher in 1977, were doing any better – and they had the relatively easy job of facing a Labour Government whose financial credibility had imploded in a very public, and very humiliating, currency crisis'. Though he shows that Labour's performance 'is not, by any measure, a stellar performance', he shows that the Party is actually doing better than most new Oppositions at this stage of a new government.