Election gets ‘closer’ as prospect of a squeeze tightens…
Interesting piece on Politics Home with it’s ‘PH100’ now predicting a closer election result. Meanwhile, over on Conservative Home they are saying the mountain may not be as hard to climb as the pundits say it is. I think the ‘PH100’ shift is understandable considering we have seen some slight signs of a Labour recovery. Nothing spectacular but the high-20s is certainly better than where they were and, to be honest, the Conservative Home piece is very pithy; also, one of its central premises may well be invalidated.
The expectation of wide-spread tactical ‘anti-Labour’ voting assumes the kind of enthusiasm for Cameron and Co. that existed for Tony Blair as he swept into office. Maybe there will not be widespread ‘anti-Conservative’ voting and they will benefit from a diffuse opposition but they have potential problems with their core vote and the UKIP challenge. Furthermore, as showed by Brown’s increased confidence at PMQ’s, he is guaranteed at least to lead Labour into the next election. Labour needs a spell in opposition but, increasingly, the ‘wipe-out’ scenario is fading from view and this will leave them potentially handily placed for a speedy return to office. Having lost, but with a little dignity left in tact Brown will gracefully retire.
So many indicators show us that the constant comparisons between Blair and Cameron are a triumph of Conservatives hope and expectation over reality;
There may well be one more reason. It remains tentative at the moment. If anyone resembles Tony Blair in his most enviable characteristic – his disproportionate appeal to swing voters – it is not Gordon Brown, but David Cameron.
Conservative by-election victories have shown that unlike Blair, Cameron can’t even motivate these people enough to come out and vote for him. This may well undo Cameron even if he does manage to pull-off a slight majority; as the Conservative right seizes on disappointed high-hopes to springboard a coup bid.
So, where does this leave the Liberal Democrats? In short, it leaves us back in the electoral squeeze scenario; one that I have always thought would apply. It leaves us unlikely to benefit from widespread tactical anti-Labour voting and facing losses to the Conservatives in the southern strongholds.