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|Blair in Battle Over Thatcher Legacy
- Eve of poll 'Yes You are, No I'm Not' commotion for PM
THE WINNER and loser of the General Election has been announced and her name, in both cases, is Margaret Thatcher.
Desperate to encourage his core Labour Party constituency to vote, Prime Minister Tony Blair has said that the election is a chance for Britain "to move beyond Thatcherism and set a new course for our country."
However, two of Labour's newer supporters disagree. Both The Times and business weekly The Economist have changed the habits of a lifetime and urged voters to back Labour, on the basis that Blair is the best ambassador for Thatcherism in the modern era. With the Financial Times also backing Labour, Blair has the support of the majority of the establishment media and is worried that the 'by your friends shall ye be known' jibe will stick.
As a result, Blair is trying to cut a progressive figure in order to persuade disillusioned party loyalists to use the ballot box. If today's poll in The Guardian is anything to go by, the PM is right to worry. The ICM survey found Labour's commanding lead slipping to 11 percentage points, the smallest gap of the campaign but still one big enough to grab a convincing majority in parliament.