Oh I don’t know, I leave England for a couple of years and what happens, you get a poor PM who is probably going to be kicked out by his own Party. Very Thatcher-esq. A fitting end for New Labour? It would be a very neat circle. The try to become the Tories and what happens, they become the Tories. Infighting, poor results, lack of trust and election crisis. Oops.
Despite that, the Tories are odds-on favourites to gain their first seat from Labour in a parliamentary by-election since 1978 and their first from another party since 1982. Labour’s campaign to portray the Tory candidate, Edward Timpson, as a “Tory toff” has backfired. But Labour MPs said yesterday that the party’s expected defeat would have little to do with its tactics locally.
One senior Labour figure said: “Crewe is about the economy, the abolition of the 10p tax rate and Gordon Brown.”
The scale of the panic in Labour’s ranks tomorrow will depend on the size of the expected Tory majority. A crushing defeat could plunge Mr Brown into his most severe crisis since he became Prime Minister 11 months ago. Some Labour backbenchers could go public with demands for him to stand down.
However, a concerted move to push him out is thought unlikely at this stage. While many Labour MPs are privately discussing how they might move against Mr Brown, a majority believes that he should be given until Labour’s annual conference in September to close the opinion poll gap with the revitalised Tories.
“Crewe could be the tipping point; things can happen very quickly,” one former minister said yesterday. “But most of us think that if it happens, it will happen in the autumn.”