The poll in today’s Observer (by Ipsos MORI) has the Tory lead down to just 6 points. If this was replicated at a general election, the Tories would have just 9 seats more than Labour and we would have the first hung parliament since 1974. If the gap narrowed to 5 points Labour could be the largest party in the Commons!
In today’s Observer, Tony Helm, the paper’s Political Editor, writes: “Among Tory MPs and candidates a new nervousness has been evident since early in the month. One Tory candidate noted a recent wave of hostility on the doorstep towards George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, who announced in October that the Tories would freeze public-sector pay as part of necessary economic austerity measures”.
This is great news, and poses a challenge to David Cameron. The approach to date of saying little, committing to nothing, with him and George Osborne sailing effortlessly into Numbers 10 and 11, is no longer credible. On the occasion when Osborne did speak out, the real face of Cameron’s Conservative Party was revealed. And people don’t like what they see. It is the same old Tory Party, determined to cut jobs and services. With Osborne proving to be so unpopular, will Cameron stand by his friend or will his ruthless personal ambition result in Boy George getting the elbow?
I want a hung parliament because Labour does not deserve a further term. They didn’t deserve this term. But the Conservatives would be the worst of all worlds – its natural instinct to cut given cover by the need for ‘pragmatism’. With a hung parliament each and every MP will have greater influence, and will be held accountable as the Commons will regain some power lost under Blair.
A hung parliament: things are really looking up!