The Dave effect

It’s happening, and though I hate to say it, I told you so. Today’s Guardian has the results of an ICM poll which brings uncomfortable news for the government.

Two-thirds of voters believe the government has run out of steam, according to a Guardian/ICM poll which places the Conservatives ahead of the Labour party for the first time since 2000.

The poll finds that the Tories are ahead of Labour by 37% to 36%, with the Liberal Democrats on 21%, compared with Labour’s five-point lead a month ago. Minor parties have also been squeezed from 10% to 7% by the David Cameron-led Tory revival. It is the first time in five years the Tories have been ahead – the last was during the fuel crisis – and the second time since 1993, after the pound crashed out of the European exchange rate mechanism. It suggests that a solid majority of voters, 55%, is now dissatisfied with the job Tony Blair is doing as prime minister, though he remains overwhelmingly popular (82%) among Labour voters.

Now here comes the interesting bit…

But Gordon Brown’s chances in a 2009-10 election against Mr Cameron and Charles Kennedy are rated even more pessimistically. With Mr Brown in charge of Labour, the Tory lead widens to 41% to 36% with the Lib Dems on 18% as they lose votes back to Tory candidates.

My conclusion: Labour will have to skip Brown and go for someone younger if they want to hold on to power. It’s the boredom factor at work.