The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Why Cameron Needs A Landslide

Posted by The Futility Monster on August 17, 2009 @ 08:35

Sign on, sign on, with hope in your hearts; and you'll never find a job...

Sign on, sign on, with hope in your hearts; and you'll never find a job...

This morning The Times has an interesting story which has potentially damaging repercussions for any Conservative government.

They report that if their plans for moving some people from incapacity benefit onto the dole queue is put into action, it will result in unemployment figures of some 4m or so.

To me, what this illustrates is a much wider picture. If the economy is still struggling in 2010, job losses will be continuing anyway. Who knows what unemployment will reach before the next election; though Labour will try their hardest – by any means necessary – to keep it below the symbolic 3m mark.

Other countries have been departing recession in the past month or so, and Japan is now the latest. We won’t be far behind… but there remains a substantial worry that what we’re currently seeing is the dreaded “double dip” recession, i.e. that once the government stimulus spending, whether funded by deficits or surpluses, has worked its way through the system, there will be nothing left to sustain it. After all, the public sector can’t continue to grow if the private sector is shrinking, as there won’t be sufficient tax basis to fund any more public spending.

With that in mind, there are still huge unknowns on the horizon. If the economy is poor, but Labour somehow manage to run a good campaign and stem the Tory tide to no more than 100 seats, we’ll see a hung Parliament situation. Cameron may well emerge triumphant from such a scenario, all depending on what the Lib Dems do.

But if he does, and he either leads a minority government, or has a wafer thin majority, it’s going to make the next Parliament extremely fragile.

If the economic bad news continues to pile up, the pressure will become extraordinary. Labour will be able to accuse the Conservatives of inexperience and making the recession into a depression. Of course, it will sound hypocritical, but voters are rather impatient. In those circumstances, we could easily see another General Election, with a new Labour leader, and a very uncertain outcome.

Alternatively, Cameron may be seen to be handling it well. But, if I were him, I would be looking to call another election quickly anyway, to enhance that majority. But that’s always a risky gamble…

Either way, it’s a potential headache for the Tories. After all, no one wants to be forced into an election. Or even pick a fight they aren’t sure they’re going to win. See Gordon Brown in September 2007 for proof.

The solution is a thumping great win which will remove any doubt that Cameron has the ability to ride out any further storms and give him a large degree of moral legitimacy.

The Tories will win next time. The only question is the one it has been for years now: how big will it be?

For Cameron it needs to be big.

One Response to “Why Cameron Needs A Landslide”

  1. […] As for Mr Cameron, the sky is the limit. But as I wrote last August, he really could do with a landslide. […]

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