After yesterday’s "outstanding" Commons performance, a PoliticsHome survey of Westminster insiders finds that George Osborne is seen as safe as Shadow Chancellor. 46% of the panel of journalists, parliamentarians and thought leaders answered "yes" to the following question: After several weeks of criticism has George Osborne’s response to the PBR now secured his position as shadow chancellor? 38% said he was safe anyway. 15% answered no.
But George Osborne’s renewed strength isn’t just because of his barnstorming performance. The tide started turning in his favour last week. Some of his positions, for example, on matching Labour’s spending plans were indefensible and there have been rushed-out announcements that have struggled to withstand scrutiny; eg the recruitment subsidy but he made the right judgment call on the big strategic issue of borrowing. He recognised that debt was the big issue and focused on it relentlessly. It will be interesting to see if Mr O bounces back in the next survey of grassroots Tories.