Monday, 8 June 2009
Euro election spin
If the Conservatives are polling 29% in East Renfrewshire then its very bad news for Labour.
UKIP and Tory splitting the vote between them and still managing to come 1st and 2nd.
Lots of Labour talking heads and Meps and MPs and bloggers talking up how in 2004 they suffered a reverse but bounced back.
A good bit of driftwood to clutch at in the stormy political sea. Except it is nonsense.
The 2004 kicking was specifically aimed a hurting Tony Blair. Not Labour.
The public and especially Labour voters wanted to punish him for Iraq.
The Euro elections were a perfect opportunity. Kick the party without doing it any real harm. Send a message loud and clear without fear of letting in the Tories.
This time it is different. Very different.
Despite every protestation that Gordon Brown is solving the economic crisis not enough voters believe that he is. Many believe he caused it. More that he has not done enough to solve it and what he has done has been wasteful and partisan.
If voters have been repeatedly told that there is a load of help for them at JobCentrePlus but there isn't anything more than there would be in normal circumstances, then all those, and other, promises appear false.
Labour ministers and activists who are expecting a big bounce back are deluded. Of course there will be a boost, but on these figures there is no possible recovery.
Hoping something may turn up is ridiculous. Something might, but it might also get worse.
The economy might improve but it might not. And the normal travails of politics will continue.
Dangerous dogs, gang crime, flooding or a doctor refusing a minister access to a hospital because
of some funding issue, or something. These stories occur all the time. They all wear down an incumbent. Labour could not allow even one more "Baby P" story to break, yet is entirely powerless to prevent them.
The Tories, in their darkest days, did not think that they would become the third party of politics. As it stands Labour must give serious consideration to becoming the Fourth.