Is this a boost for Harman and Hain or not?
The above is from the detail of this month’s Populus poll which wasn’t given much attention when it came out. It shows what happened when Populus showed pictures of the six contenders for the Deputy Leadership to 1,006 randomly selected members of the public in a poll.
My concern here is not whether Harman is marginally better known than the rest but what is says about public interest in the whole political process.
For more than a decade, of course, Labour has been so dominated by Brown and Blair that the others have hardly had a look in. But it goes deeper than that.
The audiences for TV news bulletins are nothing like what they were in the mid 90s when only a small fraction of homes had more than four channels. The red-tops rarely move into political coverage – certainly not on their front pages.
Paris Hilton wins over Hilary Benn every day of the week.
There’s a theory that most people’s political choices are based on fleeting glances that they have of the media they see. Is it any wonder then that politicians are more concerned about the much derided sound bite than anything else?
For should the parties see the lack of interest not as a problem but an opportunity. For when turnout goes down the beneficiaries are those that are best organised.