Labour pull ahead 14 points: has Thatcher grief backfired for PM?

YouGov poll suggests that any 'Thatcher bounce' is boosting Labour rather than the Conservatives


SUDDENLY it seems Ed Miliband can do no wrong. Hours after being praised by the Daily Telegraph for his statesmanlike – dare one say, prime ministerial? - tribute to Lady Thatcher in the Commons ("perfectly judged: moving, eloquent, generous without fawning," said the Torygraph), the Labour leader is now basking in a 14-point lead over the Conservatives awarded by an overnight YouGov poll.

The Tories, according to polling conducted for The Sun over Tuesday and Wednesday, have slumped to 28 per cent, while Labour are up at 42 per cent, raising fears among Tory supporters that the very public outpouring of grief at the passing of the Great Warrior Queen might have backfired. (The Lib Dems just squeaked home ahead of UKIP – with 12 per cent to the Farage teram's 11 per cent.)

Tim Montgomerie, former editor of the grassroots website ConservativeHome, now earning his crust at The Times, tweeted: "Talk of a Thatcher bounce may have been exaggerated. Tories have fallen to 28% in the latest @YouGov."

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So, while the one-time film actress Glenda Jackson (Lab, Hampstead, Highgate and Hollywood) was being slagged off this morning for her attack on Thatcher and Thatcherism during yesterday's Commons debate, she may actually have been speaking for the majority.

Some commentators gave Glenda a pat on the back: the Independent's Steve Richards and many grassroots Labour supporters welcomed her breaking the Diana-like myth building around Lady T.

Tory leaders had been hoping that a fortnight of mourning would give them a lift in the polls and were privately delighted that Lady Thatcher's death completely wrecked the launch of Miliband's local election campaign on Monday.

But the poll results suggest that if anyone's enjoying a "Thatcher bounce", it's Labour. And if the budding controversy over the cost of next week's elaborate funeral doesn't die down, Miliband could continue to benefit.

As Kevin Maguire, assistant editor of the Daily Mirror, tweeted: "An establishment lavishing cash and praise on Margaret Thatcher is misjudging the public mood."

He could be right. Especially if Giles Brandreth proves correct in his prediction this morning on Radio 4's Today programme that those invited to the funeral will include her favourite comedian, Jim Davidson.

FW de Klerk is one thing - 'Nick Nick' Davidson is another.

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is the pseudonym for a London-based political consultant who writes exclusively for The