In short, no.
YouGov’s Peter Kellner noted (at a Conference I attended on Saturday) that Labour hopes that its political fortunes will start to recover late next year as the economy recovers. There are four main reasons why I don’t expect that to happen (or why it won’t matter):
- The recession – or at least very tough economic times – are still likely to be evident at the end of 2009. Hat-tip to Andrew Lilico.
- It’s far from clear that Labour will get any kudos for recovery. International factors and Bank of England interest rate cuts are just as likely to be credited.
- Even if the recovery is underway we’ll still have Labour’s huge borrowing and the beginning of the tax rises that Labour have pre-announced.
- Labour will – by the end of 2009 – be in a much worse electoral position than now. We’ll have had twelve months of job losses and repossessions. The PBR was Brown’s last, best chance and he blew it. The Tory lead in the ConHome poll of polls is currently 7.4%. It will be a lot larger by this time next year.
These – and Brown’s mishandling of issues like Baby P and Damian Green’s arrest – are why I am more sure than ever that the Conservatives will win the next General Election.