If my aunt had balls...
She’d be my uncle. There’s an article in the Guardian today where they have canvassed cabinet Ministers as to Labour’s prospects in the next election. A sort of ‘view from the bunker’ if you will. Surprise, surprise they are upbeat and optimistic – at least for the benefit of the press. The cause of their optimism is perhaps a little delusional though.
Ministers were buoyed by the Guardian/ICM poll finding that if the economy picks up in advance of an election - a mighty if - the Labour vote could increase by as much as eight points. The finding confirmed the volatility of the electorate.
It is indeed a mighty if – there’s no sign of the economy picking up in time for an election in 2010, and even if it did the visible indicators would inevitably be lagging behind. It’s also a pretty hefty could.
It also plays (again) on this polling volatility that Labour are pinning their hopes on. It isn’t true though. The polls have followed a pretty sure pattern since October 2007 – Labour have fluctuated between the middle twenties and the low thirties. The Tories have fluctuated between the low forties and the upper forties. That’s a solid pattern and not a wild swing. There’s a lot less hope out there than they like.