The electorate is a sceptical lot. So far that has worked in favour of the Coalition. After all it has to be accepted by reasonable people that the budget deficit must be lowered as rapidly as possible and if the OBR tells us that there will be more people in employment by the end of 2011 then who will gainsay them. Opposition doomsayers predicting a 1930’s style depression for some years can be safely shrugged aside. ‘They would say that wouldn’t they’ being a common reaction. However, today’s increase in the unemployment figures may make a difference to all that. Whichever way you look at it these are grim figures. So far the Coalition has benefited from the Labour fiscal stimulus and the first economic upturns in world trade. But as the blessed Gordon has told us there has been no follow through internationally to a viable global economic growth stategy. The moment has been lost and the monetarists have had their day. Goodness! Might Gordon (blessed be his name) have been right all along?
So far the Tories have been continued to ride high in the opinion polls at around 40 percent , marginally higher than in the General Election while the Lib Dems have incurred the public wrath with 60 percent of their vote disappearing. As the recession grips this will change , although given the nature of Tory support among the affluent it is likely that support will remain in the 30’s. The Tory position relies on self-engendered high levels of confidence and David Cameron’s exuberant leadership. It can be expected that he will lash himself to the mast as the storms break upon the ship of state but not all the crew will remain. Some will cower below deck while others will wash overboard. The storm reaches an early climax in May with local and assembly elections and the AV referendum.
It is not all cheer for Ed Milliband. He has sought to play a long game and to plead unpreparedness for an early tilt at power. Might it not be desirable to build an acceptable platform much earlier than he has supposed? Come on Ed, get on with it. I have always believed that there should be good odds for an early General Election, say June 2011. I notice that the smart money has shifted to it with the odds shortening from 20/1 to 4/1. There is still time for you to put your money on.
And a word to the besieged Lib Dems. Jump now while you have the opportunity to do so. Labour could do a deal not to oppose Lib Dem MPs linking loosely with Labour at least in those seats in the south where the Libs may still have a chance. After all if the ship is sinking who could blame you for wishing to save yourselves.
You might think that I am in advance of my self and you would be right. But judgement is crucial in politics as in life itself. For God’s sake jump, your country needs you.