Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Electoral Smell of 2007

There's something about the Conservatives recent showing in the polls which makes me think back to 2007 and wonder whether they are thinking whether it's the best time they are going to get to call an election considering the ever diminishing forecasts for the economy.

David Cameron's use of the veto seems to have persuaded the voters that he will stand up for our interests in Europe. They aren't used to that and have been calling for it for a long time. It's never been the most important issue so it's questionable how long this bounce for the Tories will last. In their favour it may bring back the UKIP supporters into the fold.

The Liberal Democrats look to be a shell of a party with their integrity shattered due to not voting against student fees rises. The taint still shows, over a year after the issue passed, indicating it won't go away this parliament and will weigh heavily on them in the next election.

Labour are suffering a real crisis of leadership. Ed Milliband was always a risky prospect. He has 3 factors affecting how he is perceived that he will not ever shift:
  • The support of the unions secured his victory
  • As a key member of Gordon Brown's team he is implicated with the creation of the economic mess
  • The "betrayal" of his brother David
Top that all off with having Ed Balls as his No.2 then you have an unelectable party whose leadership had far too much dealings with the problems in the economy. Now that the most prime ministerial candidate as next leader is invalidated, David Milliband being second best the first time around leaves too many open goals, there is a struggle to find a credible replacement.
If the best they can come up with is Yvette Cooper, her 18 months as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and simply referring to her as Mrs Balls introduces the same problem.

Still, it won't happen yet I feel. The all important constituency boundary changes is the vital advantage that the Conservatives need to remove doubt from the result. If the Labour leadership remains unchanged then October 2013 is the time to look for.

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