Things don’t look so good for the Tories. The Sindo has a Com Res poll putting the Tories only one point ahead of Labour. This turnaround of relative strength in recent months is only bested by the weakening of Sterling (although the latter is intentional).
Yip, it’s all going wrong for the Tories. It’s partly their own fault but it’s also in large part due to a revitalised Gordon Brown. He visited our brave boys overseas. He’s in terror talks with the Pakistani government. He’s fresh from the EU financial package plans. So confident is the PM that he modestly took credit for saving the world.
It’s been a good few weeks for the PM. This is what the US Defense Department might refer to as full spectrum dominance. Brown is moving so confidently and decisively between issues that the Tories are seen to be completely flat footed.
So when did it all go wrong Dave? For Staff at Bobballs (Balls! 01.12), the Green arrest was a decisive moment. As we said at the time:
How will they media manage this strange episode? Negative
comment on the PBR was filtering out pretty well, so Central Office has to get Green off the hook and put Darling back on it.
In this the Tories have failed. They attacked government recovery plans and withdrew their pledge to match Labour’s spending commitments. The Tories then pledged to go for a funded tax cut. They would not have done this without supportive polling – but they are leaking support in independent polls. Their assumptions must be wrong.
Then of course was the Deripaska affair. While not hugely important, it had the effect of splitting up the effective Cameron/Osborne double act. Osborne went into hiding only to emerge (very timidly) last week – just in time for Basher Paxman to serve him up a world-class kicking on Newsnight.
Maybe the Ulster Unionists are cleverer than we give them credit for. Yes, there is that Tory link. But if Gordy gets back in, the UUP still boast perhaps the most supportive pro-Labour non-Labour backbencher in the House.
The UUP need not demand Sylvia come out for the Tory link. After the Sindo poll, they would be better to hedge and just let Sylvia be Sylvia.