Will Cameron’s insult help his chances?
Yesterday’s PMQ encounter between David Cameron and Ed Balls has continued to reverberate and I wonder whether it could have a long-term impact.
For Cameron’s comments about Balls being ” the most annoying” is a tag that looks as though it will stick but I don’t think it will harm Balls – rather the reverse in fact. He, yet again, showed himself to be the most robust attacker of the Tories and the coalition and in opposition that’s a pretty good reputation to have.
During Labour’s long leadership campaign I argued on a number of occasions that Balls was the one the party should choose. This is what I wrote in June on the morning after the Newsnight debate:
“.. Iâ€™m even more convinced that the only one capable of being an effective leader of the opposition is Ed Balls. Heâ€™s sharp, shameless and a fighter. One response last night said it all. The five were asked to say who their favourite former Labour leader was. Balls, who was Brownâ€™s comrade in arms for so long, replied â€œTony Blairâ€.
That must have really hurt his old boss but encapsulates how Balls is dealing with the one serious question mark about him – his linkage to Gordon…”
I’ve no idea when there will be a contest for Labour leader but when it comes Balls should be in with a good shout – yesterday’s attack by Cameron will help him.
Ladbrokes has Balls as the 8/1 third favourite. His wife, Yvette Cooper, is at 3/1.