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BBC TwoNewsnight
Last Updated: Friday, 30 June 2006, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
What's behind the latest figure?

By Professor Colin Rallings
Plymouth University

Economy

Since the last GorDaq, the stock exchange has suffered a reverse from the highs of March/April: this accounts for almost the entire drop in this aspect of the Index.

Other indicators are stable or slightly improved. Overall, the position is still better than when we began in January.

Media

Not a huge week for Brown despite the Trident issue. Only two-thirds of the "reach" as last time, and impact plunges from +5 to -1.

In terms of tone of reporting - 8% positive; 45% negative; and 47% neutral/balanced. Unsurprisingly, the biggest "hits" were from the Mail and Telegraph.

Public opinion

There is consensus that the Tories are now behind Labour (and Brown behind Cameron) in the polls - notwithstanding that neither party can take much comfort from Thursday's by-elections. Brown did campaign in Blaenau Gwent for all the good it did!

Since May there has been a further fall off in economic optimism and an increase in negative views about government economic policy (MORI). The Tories are now neck-and-neck with Labour as the best party to manage the economy (YouGov).

Voters still see Brown as the inevitable successor, but there is little feeling that he will make much difference to the party's or country's fortunes. He remains seen as competent rather than likeable, and scores no better than Blair on measures such as "trust" and "ability to unite the nation".

Westminster watch

Average of four commentators = plus one. Though that is less positive than in some recent iterations. Still a tendency to think that what's bad for Blair is good for Brown - though do the public see it that way?

Blair's departure now nearer and there really is no one else.

UPSUM

Remember we began at 100 - already quite good feel for Brown.

Brown continues to suffer from the general malaise surrounding the PM and the government, and there is an increasing feeling that he may not be "the solution". This is reflected in both the media and public opinion. The economy remains okay, but he seems to be given less direct credit for that. The commentators are more positive, but take a narrower view, ie what are the stakes in the Blair/Brown succession?

On balance things are now little changed overall from January.

GORDAQ LATEST FIGURE = 101



SEE ALSO
Introducing the GorDaq
09 Jan 06 |  Newsnight Home


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