James Forsyth

The left needs to come to the aid of the party<br />

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The Tories are cock-a-hoop this morning. They now have the prospect of a year of a battering a government with a Prime Minister who is so weak he can’t reshuffle his Cabinet as he wishes and a Chancellor who everyone knows does not command the confidence of Number 10. If Labour is polling in the low twenties/high teens now, how low will it be after a year of lame duck government? As one Labour fixer on the left of the party said to me earlier this week, ‘there’s no constitutional requirement for there to be a Labour party.’

As Matt writes, the effort to portray those dissatisfied with Brown as Blairite-ultras is in full flow. But the truth is the discontent goes far wider than that. And the damage that Brown is doing to the Labour party is being done to the party as whole. The massive electoral losses will not be confined to any faction of the party.

Someone on the centre to centre-left of the party needs to move today. If they do, that could be enough to shove others into action and give Labour a chance to replace Brown and try to reconnect with the electorate.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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