Is it possible? Can they achieve the impossible? Can they try really hard and succeed in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory? I refer to the Tories who by any measure should slaughter Labour at the election ... and yet ... and yet. Three stories worry me. First, a poll published today shows Labour closing the gap on the Tory lead. Of course, polls go up an down like a whore's drawers in the run up to an election but the Tories should have had an enormous lead by now so that any falling back would be marginal.
Second, there is yet another mention, and a hefty one, too, in The Spectator pointing to a growing malaise amongst the parliamentary party who feel that ordinary, and even shadow cabinet, members are being ignored by the darling duo, 'D&G', and the posse of SpAds who form a praetorian guard around them. As James Forsyth points out, in the event of a very low Tory majority that could leave 'D&G' subject to the sort of constant rebellion which dragged down John Major. In addition, he points out that this election will result in an enormous intake of brand new Tory MPs and only about a third of them came from Central Office's so-called A-list. 'Dave' has already announce that he will instantly introduce boundary changes so many of these new MPs may find themselves facing reselection sooner than they thought and that is likely to make them fear their local party more than 'Dave' and his henchmen.
Thirdly, Peter Oborne in The Mail claims to see slight signs of friction between 'D&G'. Both know they will have to institute severe cuts across government spending but 'Dave's' inclination, expressed again in the last few days, is to keep these to a minimum. George, on the other hand, fancies himself as a bit of Thatcherite, apparently, and wants deep cuts along with cuts in taxation. It is rumoured that such thoughts bring out 'Dave' in a sweat!
The more I see and read, the less is the chance of my vote going to the Tories.