Peter Hoskin

Brown’s survival instincts

Brown's survival instincts
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Alas, and most reluctantly, you've got to hand it to Brown: he's a scrapper. Just watching coverage of his speech in Bradford now, and he seems to be on punchy form.  The message is stridently negative, of course.  And he has entrenched himself, as David noted earlier, back behind the old "investment vs cuts" line (although now he calls it "selfish individiualism over public investment").  But this is clearly where the PM is happiest and at his most comfortable.  Aggressive clunk is simply what he does best.

The question hanging over the dying stages of the campaign is this: will the negativity cut through?  Strategists on both sides, for Labour and for the Tories, think that Brown's disingenuous warnings about "Tory cuts" to child tax credits, for instance, are having some effect.  Whether it's enough to move the polls tomorrow remains to be seen - although I can't imagine, or perhaps can't bring myself to imagine, that Brown's exclusively gloomy and misleading rhetoric will achieve much beyond alienating the electorate.