Newt Gingrich's campaign is dead in the water

The architect of the "Republican revolution" is the run-away leader of this year's "Rudy Giuliani El

Oh dear. A week after his campaign team resigned en masse, there is more bad news for Newt Gingrich in this latest Gallup poll. His positive intensity score has plummeted from a high of 19 in April to just two at the latest count.

Gingrich

To put in context just how mind-numbingly awful this is, take a look at the positive intensity scores of some of the other Republican candidates.

The rest of the pack 

In Gingrich's defence, however, he is not the only candidate suffering from falling positive intensity scores. The widely-tipped Tim Pawlenty's rating has halved, from a peak of 17 to nine. Jon Huntsman's positive intensity rating has gone down too. But neither Pawlenty nor Huntsman have seen drops as remarkable as Gingrich's.

Gingrich seems to be fulfilling the Rudy Giuliani role in this election. Like Giuliani in 2008, Gingrich is a seemingly competent - if a little crazy - candidate, running a truly awful, ill-thought out campaign, marred by poor organisation and strategy. For these reasons, I nominate Newt for the inaugural "Rudy Giuliani Electoral Implosion" award. Well done, Newt. You might win something.

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PMQs review: Jeremy Corbyn turns "the nasty party" back on Theresa May

The Labour leader exploited Conservative splits over disability benefits.

It didn't take long for Theresa May to herald the Conservatives' Copeland by-election victory at PMQs (and one couldn't blame her). But Jeremy Corbyn swiftly brought her down to earth. The Labour leader denounced the government for "sneaking out" its decision to overrule a court judgement calling for Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) to be extended to those with severe mental health problems.

Rather than merely expressing his own outrage, Corbyn drew on that of others. He smartly quoted Tory backbencher Heidi Allen, one of the tax credit rebels, who has called on May to "think agan" and "honour" the court's rulings. The Prime Minister protested that the government was merely returning PIPs to their "original intention" and was already spending more than ever on those with mental health conditions. But Corbyn had more ammunition, denouncing Conservative policy chair George Freeman for his suggestion that those "taking pills" for anxiety aren't "really disabled". After May branded Labour "the nasty party" in her conference speech, Corbyn suggested that the Tories were once again worthy of her epithet.

May emphasised that Freeman had apologised and, as so often, warned that the "extra support" promised by Labour would be impossible without the "strong economy" guaranteed by the Conservatives. "The one thing we know about Labour is that they would bankrupt Britain," she declared. Unlike on previous occasions, Corbyn had a ready riposte, reminding the Tories that they had increased the national debt by more than every previous Labour government.

But May saved her jibe of choice for the end, recalling shadow cabinet minister Cat Smith's assertion that the Copeland result was an "incredible achivement" for her party. "I think that word actually sums up the Right Honourable Gentleman's leadership. In-cred-ible," May concluded, with a rather surreal Thatcher-esque flourish.

Yet many economists and EU experts say the same of her Brexit plan. Having repeatedly hailed the UK's "strong economy" (which has so far proved resilient), May had better hope that single market withdrawal does not wreck it. But on Brexit, as on disability benefits, it is Conservative rebels, not Corbyn, who will determine her fate.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.