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Tories in trouble: a new YouGov poll shows the ruling party at their lowest ebb for 8 years

Is David Cameron the new Gordon Brown?

David Cameron's interview on the Andrew Marr show this morning was billed as his opportunity to "come out fighting". I'm not sure it was quite the Muhammad Ali performance some suggested it might be; the Prime Minister will have to say and do a lot more to try and get us all to stop talking about Jeremy Hunt, Rupert Murdoch and Christmas dinners with Rebekah Brooks.

Meanwhile, a new poll for today's Sunday Times shows the Tories are at their "lowest ebb for 8 years":

THE prime minister is facing his gravest political crisis since entering Downing Street as the Conservatives plummet in the polls.

A devastating YouGov poll today reveals that support for the Tories has dropped to 29%, the lowest level since 2004.

After a turbulent month during which key measures in the budget unravelled, the government presided over a series of domestic fiascos and the economy returned to recession, David Cameron’s personal approval ratings have collapsed.

The only other prime minister to have suffered such a rapid loss in popularity in recent times is Gordon Brown after he scrapped plans to hold a snap election.

Cameron as the new Brown? Is this the trye legacy of phone hacking?

Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12.

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Could Jeremy Corbyn still be excluded from the leadership race? The High Court will rule today

Labour donor Michael Foster has applied for a judgement. 

If you thought Labour's National Executive Committee's decision to let Jeremy Corbyn automatically run again for leader was the end of it, think again. 

Today, the High Court will decide whether the NEC made the right judgement - or if Corbyn should have been forced to seek nominations from 51 MPs, which would effectively block him from the ballot.

The legal challenge is brought by Michael Foster, a Labour donor and former parliamentary candidate. Corbyn is listed as one of the defendants.

Before the NEC decision, both Corbyn's team and the rebel MPs sought legal advice.

Foster has maintained he is simply seeking the views of experts. 

Nevertheless, he has clashed with Corbyn before. He heckled the Labour leader, whose party has been racked with anti-Semitism scandals, at a Labour Friends of Israel event in September 2015, where he demanded: "Say the word Israel."

But should the judge decide in favour of Foster, would the Labour leadership challenge really be over?

Dr Peter Catterall, a reader in history at Westminster University and a specialist in opposition studies, doesn't think so. He said: "The Labour party is a private institution, so unless they are actually breaking the law, it seems to me it is about how you interpret the rules of the party."

Corbyn's bid to be personally mentioned on the ballot paper was a smart move, he said, and the High Court's decision is unlikely to heal wounds.

 "You have to ask yourself, what is the point of doing this? What does success look like?" he said. "Will it simply reinforce the idea that Mr Corbyn is being made a martyr by people who are out to get him?"