Yesterday was general election day. Well, not in this time line at least! 25th October started off as the favourite date for the general election that never happened, though the date soon slipped to 1st November. It was a possibility because there were a number of problems Brown could have avoided, all of which I have touched on in this blog.
I expected him to prevent the Tories getting the coverage their conference would have generated leaving the Labour conference and the poll boost from it as the last memory of it. I expected him to take advantage of Tory divisions and the loud and growing complaints by Tory backbenchers about Sham Cam. And what has Brown achieved? A massive boost for the Tories, a united Tory party, a successful Tory conference and a Cameron safe in his job who has convinced a large part of the electorate that a single, unaffordable policy can be passed off as a manifesto.
Added to this is the problem of the Ashcroft millions pouring into the marginals. It will take time to pass the legislation to put an end to that.
So, this morning we could have been waking up to a 4th heavy Tory defeat. Instead, we wake up to a stronger Tory party, courtesy of Brown. I do not expect Tory strength to last, but they have a boost in some parts of the country - they are however dead in my area in the North East. Once something is dead, no matter how much stimulus you give to a corpse, it won't bring it back to life!
Nevertheless, I suspect there are many in Labour who are just starting to question whether or not the coronation of Brown as saviour of Labour after the Blair years was the right thing to do.
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