The much vaunted “Brown bounce”, which was supposed to see a revival of the prime minister’s fortunes, has flattened out leaving him looking like the living dead.
The Tories have now established a steady 12 percent lead in the polls, the latest of which shows that 63 percent of people believe Gordon Brown is dragging down Labour’s support. Meanwhile reports whisper of a renewed fight over who might succeed Brown.
Despite high ratings for the Tories, the right wing media are worried. The Economist magazine states that “the public are not keenly awaiting a Conservative government in the way they looked forward to Labour’s election in 1997”, while the Times newspaper says “confidence in the party is lacking”.
This shows that voters trust neither of the two main parties over the economy. Volatility means voters can move sharply left or right. This explains the Nazi BNP’s success in securing a Kent council seat last week. They tapped into fears over jobs and exploited the poisonous “British jobs for British workers” slogan.
Now the Metropolitan Police warn that Britain faces a “summer of rage”, predicting unrest over the recession could boil over. That can create the conditions in which the left can capture the popular mood. We need to ensure that happens.