Polls indicate that voters would prefer John Reid or indeed just someone else than Gordon Brown to be the next UK PM. While some could extrapolate from other popularity polls that David Cameron is the preferred long term choice, see the Guardian for an example, this may not be as clear cut as all that.
Dave Brown, a Lecturer in the School of Communication Studies, Auckland University of Technology, commented at yesterday's conference that voters are seeking someone with the 'X Factor', a person with all the characteristics that we are looking for to solve the problems we as a nation are facing. This is probably someone we trust to handle the issues of importance but the connection would be as emotional and perceptual as it would be based upon their ability to present a coherent programme. Brown commented that the US may have that person in Barack Obama, he observes there is no such candidate in the UK.
I was initially dismissive, but perhaps Dave Brown has a point. Our politicians do not inspire us. Familiarity does not engender understanding or liking but contempt, and longevity leads to ennui. This presents all the parties with a problem, their top tier have been around quite a while yet fail to really connect with the voter's ideal party leaders - is there a solution?