Tony Blair: Voter kryptonite?

Tony Blair a major ‘electoral liability’ with voters

Tony Blair a major ‘electoral liability’ with voters

Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson are major electoral liabilities who should be hidden away from the public, according to a new poll.

The YouGov poll for the Times found that the one-time New Labour stars have since become major electoral turn-offs for the party.

Sixty-one per cent of all voters said the former Labour leader was an "electoral liability" with even 47% of all Labour supporters agreeing. Just 14% said he would be an asset.

Peter Mandelson was similarly unpopular with voters, with 53% saying he was an electoral liability as opposed to just seven per cent saying he was an asset.

The findings contrast with former Conservative prime minister John Major who is now judged to be a significant electoral asset among Conservative voters. Forty-four per cent of Tories said his presence on the campaign would be an asset as opposed to just 22% who said it would be a liability.

Even Gordon Brown, whose popularity plunged while in office, is now more popular than Blair. Thirty-eight per cent of Labour voters said Brown was an asset as opposed to just 28% who said he was a liability.

The findings suggest that recent interventions from Blair and Mandelson in the general election campaign have gone down badly with voters.

Both Blair and Mandelson were widely criticised by Labour supporters in recent months after attacking Labour's apparent leftward direction.

More recently Mandelson this week sought to repair relations by praising Miliband's recent speech on business. Blair has also promised to give Miliband all the support he needs in the coming election.

However, today's poll suggests that the best thing both men can do for Labour is to stay away altogether.