Even Ed Balls can’t save Labour, new ICM survey suggests
But the Strictly star might help his party to shimmy up the polls by a few points.
Labour is 14 points behind the Conservatives in the latest poll by Guardian/ICM - and even TV's Ed Balls might not be able to help.
The Tories are down three points to 41% while Labour is down one point to 27%. Ukip and the Liberal Democrats have both crept up by two points each.
The latest opinion poll blow for Labour comes after shadow home secretary Diane Abbott predicted yesterday that her party would catch up with the Tories in 2017.
She said: “I’m confident we’re going to close the gap in the coming 12 months. We’ve had a pretty difficult 12 months, partly Jeremy’s enemies in the party, partly commentators, but we have the right policies and the right leader.”
Many have blamed Jeremy Corbyn for Labour's low poll ratings and one Labour peer recently suggested that his party would would win the next election "by a mile" with Balls as leader.
Commentators have voiced similar opinions with Total Politics columnist James Millar stating: "Balls will emerge from his Strictly experience with a little more stardust but having also proved he has popularity with the public. That is a winning combination."
In the latest survey, ICM also asked gathered opinions on former political heavyweights Tony Blair, John Major, Paddy Ashdown and Ed Balls. Voters were asked how their opinions of the four had changed since they were "central to British politics".
Tony Blair: -40 (6% more now minus 46%) less
John Major: -12 (10% more now minus 22% less)
Paddy Ashdown: -10 (7% more now minus 17% less)
Ed Balls: +3 (20% more favourable now minus 17% less)
ICM established that Blair’s reputation had taken a nosedive since he was in Number 10. There was also less love for Major and Ashdown than when they were "central to British politics".
Fresh from his 10 week run on Strictly Come Dancing, Balls was the only one of the four former politicians to have improved his image since leaving the political frontline.
However, despite winning over Westminster with his heroics on Strictly Come Dancing, there is scant evidence that the shadow chancellor-turned-TV star would transform Labour’s poll ratings overnight.
According to the ICM survey, a Balls-led Labour party would be on 30% in the polls – up 3% from its current poll rating.
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