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The proportion of people satisfied with Paddy Ashdown’s performance as Lib-Dem leader has increased dramatically-since he announced his intention to resign. According to Mori’s latest monthly poll, his approval rating has jumped 12 points to plus 39. So while Tony Blair continues to enjoy the longest honeymoon effect in political history, Ashdown has demonstrated a different phenomenon-what could be called the “deathbed effect.”

Last month Tony Blair made clear that he regarded appealing to the expanding middle class and their aspirational values as the key to Labour’s future success. But matters may not be so simple. An ICM poll last…

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