Autumn election anyone?
I’ll be honest, although its not my intention to dispense electoral advice to the Conservative Party; id be stunned and a little bit amazed if they didnt plump for a snap autumn election. At the very least, the thought must be crossing Conservative minds. I actually don’t think they will BUT if they don’t they will have missed a golden opportunity which will probably not arrive again. Yes, the economy isn’t great but the ‘blame Labour’ line still has enough traction to deal with that; meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats are nothing but a burden and us,well we are an effective lightening rod for public discontent but clearly not, in the public mind, a government in waiting.
In that vein, the latest IPSOS-Mori poll is a disaster. It’s just a poll people will screech but its a poll that comes on the heels of a dire result in Scotland where the question of national governance was raised in its clearest form and, well we all know what happened there. Naturally, headlines will focus on the leadership issue but there is a more fundamental problem – 57% of those polled don’t think Labour is ready to govern as a Party (let alone the rather frightening 69% who don’t think Ed Miliband is ready to be Prime Minister).
Why isn’t Labour seen as a government? Well, to me the obvious answer is that our narrative is fuzzy and incoherent. We may well know what we are all against or the fact we all want to save the NHS but what are we actually for? The reality is that were there to be a snap poll in the autumn and by some minor miracle Labour be in a position to form the next government as a result it would probably be with a slim majority or, even worse, we would be dependant on the oily Liberal Democrats. It would be a fundamentally unstable administration from the off – it would be effectively a rebound relationship for the country. Having been badly burnt by Cameron and Clegg it would rush headlong into the arms of the fresh-faced and nice seeming chap, Ed Miliband, before either the country, Miliband or the Party are properly ready for the relationship.