Is today the day that the election was lost?
Today’s GDP figures are welcome respite for a spluttering British economy but they are surely terrible news for Labour’s electoral prospects.
Ironically, the government is succeeding by doing precisely what it accused the Opposition of wanting too do, it is borrowing its way out of recession. Government debt is ballooning, not falling as it was promised it would be. This points to an inherent instability in the current growth spike, GDP growth is modest and the gamble the government is taking is that it will not keep pace with the increasing cost of sustaining it. By 2015 the bubble may have burst so an early election is still on the cards.
Labour has been left with very little room for manoeuvre and is indeed now wide open to a ‘Labour-danger’ campaign. The economy is still weak and concern about the economy is still top of the pops when it comes to what is on peoples minds. Given the fact that most people still blame Labour for the economic maelstrom, it is now wide open on its flanks to a Labour-danger campaign. I applaud the focus of living standards but it is very much a case of ‘right message, wrong election’, people will still be anxious enough about a frail recovery to worry about whether they are benefiting or not for a while to come.
Strategically, Labour is in a bind, the momentum behind the ‘One Nation’ message and has been frittered away in a pointless, self-destructive, inward looking and self-indulgent attack on Unite. The relationship between Unite and Labour was never forefront in the voters minds as what worries them about the Labour Party is the perception that economically we screwed up last time around. Well done to the rabid Conservatives who have successfully convinced Ed Miliband his biggest problem is Len McCluskey when it really is not nor never has been. They made us look much like the Conservatives look when they become obsessed with Europe, like a Party which cares only about a topic which is a big issue for around 6% of the electorate.
‘Red Len’ is not what should be causing Ed Miliband to wake up in cold sweats, when he concedes on election night, this is the day he should look back on as the day he lost the chance to walk into Number 10.