Blair’s return ‘damaging’ to Labour

April 07, 2010, 8:14 PM GMT+0

Tony Blair was a better Prime Minister than Brown, but his decision to raise his voice for Labour is both wrong and possibly damaging – so says the British public in a survey for the Sun newspaper.

When asked to choose which Prime Minister was better, 50% heralded Tony Blair as a superior Prime Minister to Gordon Brown, rising to 64% among men. Only 16% of the public positively affirmed that Brown is a better Prime Minister than his predecessor.

For the first time in three years, Blair has stepped back into the limelight of British politics, and gave a speech in support of the Labour election campaign on 30th March – barely more than a week before yesterday’s election date announcement.

But the public’s support for Blair over Brown was not coupled by a desire to see the former return to British politics. When news broke of Blair’s renewed involvement earlier this week, an earlier survey found very few people condoning his return, with even fewer believing it would help Labour’s electoral campaign. Only 35% believed that Blair was right to intervene on behalf of Labour, and exactly half the public claimed his decision to do so was wrong. Worse still for Labour, 52% said that Blair’s return to the fray could harm Labour’s cause, and another 20% said it would have no effect at all.

Sure enough, TellYouGov found the public’s response after Blair’s speech to be overwhelmingly negative. Blair displaced the ubiquitous Lady Gaga and the in-vogue Vince Cable in terms of volume, moving up to 367 on the Wednesday afternoon. He also stole Gordon Brown’s title of greatest negative buzz score, freefalling to -248 after a quiet and stable month.

Many tyggers would prefer to leave Blair to his personal speech trail rather than drag him back into British politics. One complained that ‘he should not be interfering in politics again’, and another opined that ‘he should keep out of the election’. Others emphasised that Blair’s renewed intervention reflected poorly upon the current PM and ‘sums up just how much of a state Brown is in’.

With such results it seems that Brown might be better off on his own.

For survey details and full results, please click here

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