Well, that was embarrassing. Fifth in the south. Behind the Cornish nationalists. Losing seats to the BNP (more on this later). Losing Wales – Wales for God’s sake! 15% of the vote. Losing Scotland. Not just behind, but substantially behind UKIP. What a shower. I’d laugh myself silly, if it wasn’t for my broken rib. While noting that there are possibly a few Labour blogs for whom the time for a hug has been and gone, I’d have thought that it must be getting close to terminal for Labour.
So will Brown go? I’m wary of offering predictions on this. Under Labour Party rules, it’s more or less impossible to crowbar an uncooperative Prime Minister out of office. Now, normally you’d say that rules are interesting but not the ultimate arbiter of authority. If a Prime Minister lost the support of his cabinet and party he’d have to go – it would be ridiculous otherwise. Well, this Prime Minister is ridiculous, and has made it clear that he wouldn’t resign even if he had to appoint his whole cabinet from the ranks of reality television. I mean, Lord Sugar. For fuck’s sake. There are more members of the House of Lords in this cabinet than any since 1952 – which was inflated by Churchill’s understandable keenness to have former wartime colleagues (Lord Woolton, Lord Cherwell etc) on board with him.
So I’m not convinced that normal rules apply. The most likely scenario – ridiculous though it may seem – is that Labour stagger on, broken-winged, until June next year, when we will finally get a chance to put them out of their misery. It is often said about politics that “we can’t go on like this”. We’re about to see that, to coin a phrase, Yes we can.