Rod Liddle

Why’s it unravelling for Dave?

Why's it unravelling for Dave?
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A new opinion poll puts the Tory lead down to just six points, the lowest for quite a while. It’s only one poll, of course, but it does tend to support what I was saying last week about this being a fairly promising time for Labour (with the polls in the week leading up to its Glasgow by-election victory registering a ten per cent lead for the Tories). This will come as a shock, I suppose, both to those of you on here who assumed Labour’s decline was irreversible – and also to the presumably penniless dumbo nerds at Political Betting who cannot see the wood for the trees.

The question is why this is happening when, it is broadly agreed, the country has “had enough” of Labour. I suggested a few reasons in last week’s blog; here are a few more. Tell me what you reckon.

1).Afghanistan is not playing half as badly with the public at large as the opposition parties and – particularly – the media think.

2).There is the general feeling that we have emerged from the recession and most people are pretty much unscathed. Whether they will feel unscathed next year, with another drop in house prices forecast and new tax rates kicking in, is another issue.

3).Somehow – and I’m not sure how this has happened – the government has emerged from the expenses scandal (which still bothers people) in rather better light than the Conservative Party.

4).Mandelson’s clever, if specious, charge – that the Tories actively WANT public expenditure cuts while Labour simply endures them – may have stuck.

5).David Cameron is still not an attractive prospect to many of those who voted for John Major in 1992.

6).There are few names on the opposition front bench who seem to be possessed of either gravitas or chutzpah, still less conviction.

7).Both Alastair Darling and Gordon brown have cut sympathetic figures recently.