Having argued for over two years that the outcome of the general election is likely to be one in which no party wins a majority, the Yougov poll yesterday, giving the Conservatives a lead of only 2% highlights the possibility that they may not become the largest party in Parliament. I speculated last week about Brown possibly being strengthened against his own party if he leads a minority Labour government (a likely outcome with Labour as the largest party after polling day.) Now we need to speculate on what such an outcome means for Cameron.
Having seen the perception of his party shift from being an election winner to one in which Cameron may remain Leader of the Opposition, the right wing of his party may see the chance to strike. They have remained silent (or largely so) in the face of Cameron's so-called modernisation of the Tories. Occasionally they get tossed a bit of true blue Tory meat (eg turning marriage into a tax avoidance scheme) but generally they have looked on Cameron as the Tory Trojan horse who will get them inside government. If he fails to deliver that, and fails badly (coming second in terms of votes means doing badly) he could be for the chop. The Tory right, having stomached his modernisation for long enough, may well agitate for his removal.
The issue then is, will the Conservatives enter a bout of internal war or pull together under Cameron? Do they delay the day of Cameron's reckoning as a second election is a strong possibility?
Interesting times ahead.
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