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Is John Rentoul right about June 27th 2007?

December 31st, 2009

Was this the moment that Labour was “doomed”?

In an interesting column on electoral reform today the Indy writer who often seems to be more Blairite than Blair, John Rentoul, made the following observation:-

“..I am bound by that old self-denying ordinance not to name names, but something happened on 27 June 2007. That something virtually ensured that the party was doomed at the forthcoming election…”

Is Rentoul being unfair. Was Brown always doomed to defeat or are we, even at this stage, being premature?

On the face of it the polling numbers point to defeat – but they are better for Labour than they were in mid-September 2008 just before the Lehman Brothers collapse.

Events could still intervene and prevent the seemingly inevitable progress of Mr. Cameron towards Downing Street. It is possible that he’s squeezed out of an overall majority but very few pundits are suggesting that Labour could end up as top dogs.

Labour strategists are keen to point to 1992 when John Major apparently came from certain defeat to win by an overall vote margin of nearly 8%. But Major was in a vastly better position than Brown is today. The December 1991 polls had the Tories hovering around 40% – a huge difference compared with Labour’s current standings.

The polling thresholds for me are the Conservatives at 37% and Labour at 32%. If most of the firms get into that range then maybe Brown could pull off a Houdini act.

This is my last post of 2009. Let’s see what the new year brings.

Mike Smithson