Sunday, April 19, 2009

Not just the Westminster Village

The unspoken question in political circles has been how the Labour smears scandal was playing in the country at large. There was some hope among the Left that amid rising unemployment, falling wages and negative equity people would just see this a political froth that was disconnected from their lives and so there would be little impact on voting intention. Such hopes are now dashed. Two polls have come out in the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Telegraph that put the Conservatives 19 and 17 points ahead respectively, this after the Conservative lead was recently down to 8 after the G20 summit. This is a real and devastating impact, taking Labour well below the 30 points that was previously seen as their core level of support. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that the Labour Party itself is disgusted at their leadership. How about a Labour Mayor spending a whole evening at a Civic Dinner disparaging Gordon Brown to a mixed audience? When party stalwarts like that start to rubbish the man at the top in public, while veteran ex-MP walks then there is a real problem.

We have Euro and County elections in June, and while the Euro election results will probably not be clear-cut because of PR and the probably retreat of UKIP, the Counties could be bloody. What would happen after that, if the disgraceful behaviour of no.10 cuts a swathe right through Labour's already depleted Councillor ranks? Brown has never won a national election, after all of this why does anyone think that he can?

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