Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Thirty something

Since Tony Blair announced the date - at last - when he will finally relinquish his grip on power, there has been an unprecedented tsunami of press coverage, interviews, media commentary and reflections on 10 years of Nu Labour, Blair, his "legacy" and Brown's impending coronation as the new leader of the Labour Party and Britain.

Some of this barrage of press coverage has been critical, but the BBC - the main source of information for the vast majority of people, many of whom still believe that it is impartial and unbiased - has been unremittingly positive.

Yes, there have been some critical moments on the BBC - particularly about Iraq - but there is never a but far behind their criticism.

So it comes as no surprise to find that, since Labour's debacle at the local elections there has been an upsurge of support for Labour, Brown and even Blair according to the latest poll. Of course, these polls should always be taken with a pinch of salt as they are always skewed, but it must be particularly galling to Cameron and the Tory party to find themselves back on 37% after their "fabulous" victory at the local elections.

I say "fabulous" in quotes, because it was a delusion. The turnout was awful - something like a third, I believe - and the results themselves were little to get excited about. The Tory voters turned out a little more reliably than the Labour voters and the undecided voters who bothered to show up took the chance to give Labour a bit of a kicking - but that's about it. Of course, it was natural that Cameron and his supporters - including those in the media - chose to talk up the results, but they know they were deluding themselves. An opposition should be doing a lot better against the incumbent party at a mid term election where the government is so unpopular and has been in power for 10 years.

Cameron has made no progress for the Tories. They are pretty much exactly where they were under Howard, Duncan-Smith and Hague. I've no doubt that the Tories are holding strategy meetings as we speak to try and identify what is going wrong - just as they did under the previous leaders. There will be no panic yet, but there will be increasing concern that they are not making the impact they believe they should be making. Momentary glimpses of revival followed by a slip back to that thirty something mark. So close and yet so far.

1 comment:

Sir HM said...

As I mentioned on John Redwood's diary, they elected the wrong David as leader.