Michela Morizzo shares this week’s polling results
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According to the weekly Techne UK/ Express.co.uk tracker poll, Labour’s lead over the Conservatives actually dropped by two points following Boris Johnson being humiliated in a vote of confidence by his own MPs.
It has fuelled suggestions that the party needs a new leader with some Labour MPs even hoping that he is fined by Durham Police for Beergate and forced to resign.
The Labour leader’s future hangs in the balance as he awaits the verdict of Durham Police into his pre-planned event on April 30 2021, with his deputy Angela Rayner and around 20 Labour activists.
Starmer has said he and Rayner will resign if found guilty and fined for breaking lockdown rules with the event where more than £200 of curry was consumed and washed down with beer. It comes after two months of the Labour leader calling for the Prime Minister to go.
But Sir Keir may be facing even more pressing problems with his own MPs losing confidence in his ability to lead the party.
After a week of criticism for Boris Johnson and 148 Tory MPs having no confidence in him, the Conservatives’ actually gained a point in the tracker poll to 33 percent while Labour dropped one to 39 percent.
One Labour MP likened the situation to that of the Tories in the 2000s when Tony Blair was Prime Minister and they seemed unable to win power.
The MP said: “We thought that after Corbyn Starmer was our version of Michael Howard [Tory leader for the 2005 election], who steadied the ship and put them in a position to win in 2010.
“But he is turning out to be our version of Iain Duncan Smith [Tory leader before Howard who was forced to resign], the ‘quiet man’ who just can’t make an impression with the public.”
Meanwhile, a senior Labour MP privately told Express.co.uk: “He [Starmer] is just uncharismatic and boring. He doesn’t make people want to follow him.
“There are no real policies or ideas, although he has at least detoxified the party and sorted out the nutters [Corbyn supporters].”
But the biggest problem – like the Conservatives with Boris Johnson- is that Labour MPs believe they have no obvious replacement.
One senior Labour MP told Express.co.uk: “Starmer going might do us a favour but the problem is who would replace him?”
The different candidates have all drawn criticisms from their Labour MP colleagues.
On Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham it was said: “Had his chance twice, failed twice. Now isn’t an MP. Not a hope!” Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves fares little better with this assessment: “Very, very intelligent, no personality. A charisma-free zone.”
Whereas, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper’s described as: “Always looks miserable. Turnoff for voters.”
Starmer’s Deputy leader Angela Rayner is ruled out as: “Surely could not run if she has to resign as deputy. Party wouldn’t accept it.” Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting is also snubbed as “Nobody outside the Westminster bubble knows who he is.”
“A problem every time he opens his mouth”, is the analysis for Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan is: “Genuinely disliked,” according to party members. “Did you see his cannabis commission proposal? The man’s literally potty!” Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray is described as: “Solid and nice but was pictured with the Change UK lot and apparently almost left Labour with them so trusted.”
Only Shadow Levelling Up Secretary Lisa Nandy appears to be gathering momentum among her colleagues.
One Northern Labour MP said of the Wigan MP: “She is the only one who seems to get it in turns of reaching out to people in towns and the Red Wall.”
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Conservative sources said the party aims to highlight with Starmer, Labour will need a “Rejoiner alliance” to win with the Lib Dems and SNP.
The source said: “Starmer and Labour mean the SNP and Lib Dems. Break up of the Union and back to the EU in stages.”
But before anybody makes a move all parties are awaiting Starmer and Rayner’s fate with Durham Police.
Sir Keir has claimed he did nothing wrong at the beergate event in Duham but the party did not initially tell the truth about Ms Rayner being present and also claimed it was not pre planned when a memo confirmed it was scheduled.
Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak were fined for having cake on the Prime Minister’s birthday for nine minutes before a meeting.
Pointing out that Durham Police is run by a Labour Police and Crime Commissioner, one Conservative MP told Express.co.uk: “We can’t lose. Either Starmer is fined and has to resign or we make a fuss over double standards and say he should have gone.”
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