Labour election coordinator denies snap poll planned

Labour's election coordinator today said he had not discussed the possibility of a snap poll with Gordon Brown, insisting the Cabinet was "entirely focussed" on the economic crisis.













Douglas Alexander denied preparations for a general election next year were taking place - such as booking advertising sites.



The Prime Minister and the Cabinet were "getting on with the job" of helping people with soaring fuel and food bills, he insisted.



Mr Alexander, who is also International Development Secretary, was speaking as a new poll showed the Tory lead over Labour had narrowed to just 5 per cent as Gordon Brown benefited from his handling of the global financial crisis.



Mr Alexander told BBC 1's Andrew Marr Show: "As election coordinator I haven't spoken to Gordon Brown about the possibility of an election. We are getting on with the job.



"I am trying to work with other colleagues in Cabinet to take Britain fairly through the downturn - I think that is what the British people would expect of us and that is the entire focus of our work."



It was thought following Labour's surprise victory in the Glenrothes by-election that Mr Brown could come under pressure from some MPs to call a snap poll before the economy worsens further.



But Mr Alexander said: "Of course there will be chatter in the newspapers, there may be chatter in the tearoom but I can assure you at the level of the Cabinet we are entirely focussed on trying to help people with rising food bills rising fuel bills and all the concerns they have got."



Asked whether any part of his working week was spent thinking about a April or May election, he said: "Not a poster site has been booked, we are getting on with the job of focussing on how we can help families through the difficult times they are facing, frankly I think that is what the British people would expect and want from us."

There was some positive news for the Tories today in a poll for the Independent on Sunday. The research by ComRes found they had stretched their lead by three points to 11 per cent over the past month. The Conservatives were on 43 per cent, while Labour was up a point on 31 per cent and the Lib Dems were down 4 per cent on 12 per cent.

However, today's YouGov for the Sunday Times showed Conservative Party leader David Cameron's advantage at its lowest this year, despite the UK heading for recession.



Overall, the Tories were down two points on 41 per cent, while Labour was up three on 36 per cent and the Lib Dems unchanged on 14 per cent.



Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Sport
footballLive: Latest news from Champions League draw
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Scrum Master (Agile, Java, team recruitment)

£45000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Scrum M...

Junior Asset Manager

£25000 - £35000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Junior As...

HR Generalist (standalone) - Kent - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Generalist / HR Officer (standalo...

Oracle Developer/IT Analyst

£35000 - £36000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A market leading financia...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?