A significant number of commentators claimed yesterday that Gordon Brown’s “bigot” gaffe spelled certain political death for the Prime Minister. The Telegraph’s Benedict Brogan claimed, for instance, that the gaffe “might finish off Mr Brown altogether”.
But an instant Sun/YouGov poll on the affair suggests that this may not be the case. The tabloid, again using censorship by omission, has chosen not to publish the result, but as Liberal Democrat Voice’s Mark Pack helpfully points out, it can be found on the polling group’s website.
The survey found that 50 per cent of voters agree with the statement that:
It’s a storm in a teacup. Mr Brown was simply trying to let off steam in private. We should not think the worse of him.
While 46 per cent believe that:
Mr Brown is a hypocrite — saying one thing in public and the opposite in private. Now we know just how much he despise [question truncated on results sheet . . . ]
That half the country believes the affair was a “storm in a teacup” may convince Labour strategists that Brown can safely afford to ignore the issue in tonight’s debate (although, if he is tempted to lance the boil this evening, he could worse than lift the text suggested by my colleague James Macintyre).
We’ll get a better idea of what this means for voting intentions when the latest daily YouGov survey, the first poll to be carried out in full after the affairs, is published this evening.