Double blow for Miliband as colleague predicts Cameron win and Tories edge ahead in poll


  By a Newsnet reporter
Labour leader Ed Miliband’s hopes of replacing David Cameron at Number Ten have been severely dented after the Tories edged ahead in the latest opinion poll.
According to the survey by ICM, Labour has lost its lead over David Cameron’s party and now trails the Conservatives by 34% to 33%.

The result is an increase of 3pts for David Cameron against a 1 point rise for Miliband.  The survey came on the same day that a senior Labour party figure said he believed David Cameron would win the 2015 general election.  Former Labour Home Secretary Charles Clarke warned that a Tory majority is the most likely outcome of the 2015 election.

Speaking to the Huffington Post, Mr Clarke criticised the lack of direction under Ed Miliband and the lack of positive reasons to vote Labour – both of which he says make an outright Tory victory probable at the next Westminster election.

“I think the most likely outcome is a Tory overall majority,” he said.

Ed Miliband, he added, had not “set out a clear statement of what Labour would actually do” and relied instead on an “assembly of odd policies “.

Mr Clarke’s searing criticism is the latest blow to Ed Miliband’s leadership – with recent polls showing that only 9 per cent of Scots think the Labour leader looks like a Prime Minister, and 50 per cent believing he has been a weak leader of his party.

Pressure has piled on Mr Miliband with a string of senior party colleagues expressing disquiet over his lacklustre leadership. 

Another former minister, Labour MP David Blunkett, recently warned that losing next year’s election would see Labour “in the wilderness for as much as 15 years”.

Commenting, SNP MSP Sandra White said:

“Scotland can’t afford the risk of another Tory government we resoundingly reject – which is one reason why a Yes vote in September is so important.  Only in an independent Scotland will we get the government we vote for every single time.

“Over the past four years we have seen the poorest hit hardest by Tory austerity that is forcing thousands to rely on food banks.  The fact that the Tories only have one MP north of the border has not stopped them inflicting unprecedented cuts on communities across Scotland.

“A re-elected Tory government is a clear and increasingly likely danger for people in Scotland in the event of a No vote – and the only way to ensure that the Tories never again get to govern Scotland when their support here is rock bottom is to vote Yes in September.

“We now have a situation where even senior Labour figures like Charles Clarke are saying that the party can’t win next year – and when faced with the prospect of another Tory government, polls have shown that a majority of people in Scotland would vote Yes.

“With independence, Scotland will get the government we vote for every time – and we can work toward building the fairer, more equal Scotland we all want to see.”