Peter Hoskin

The spotlight turns on Labour

The spotlight turns on Labour
Text settings

It's the story which has been simmering throughout the election campaign, and now it has has boiled over onto the front pages: fear and loathing in the Labour ranks.  After rumblings in the Sunday Times yesterday, its sister paper splashes with the headline "Labour in turmoil as pressure on Brown grows".  And, inside, Francis Elliot and Suzy Jagger report on the "jockeying to replace Gordon Brown".  Meanwhile, the front of the Independent speaks of "growing recriminations in senior Labour ranks over a lacklustre campaign that has seen the party relegated to third place in opinion polls."  The spotlight is finally turning, white-hot, on to Labour - after ten days of near exclusive illumination on the Lib Dems.

There's an argument doing the rounds that this could, somehow, be good for Labour.  The thinking is that any sign of leadership disgruntlement will undermine the Vote Clegg, Get Brown argument (thereby improving the chances of a hung parliament), and could even bring some voters back into the red column (thereby improving Labour's chances of sitting at a table with Clegg).  But I fail to see these so-called benefits.  Instead, this is increasingly looking like a pre-election post mortem on Labour's campaign.  And we all know what happens when you start pulling the guts out of something which isn't technically dead yet.