Can he appeal to Ming’s party and make speeches like yesterday’s?
As discussed yesterday the move to Labour in the polls has been as a result of two major developments – more Labour supporters are saying that they would be certain to vote and the party is winning back support from the party that Brown irritatingly refers to as “the Liberals”.
The idea of “Gordon Conservatives” is, for the moment, a device to put pressure on the Tories. All the polls show that their numbers are dwarfed by the “Dave Labourites”.
The Lib Dems, however, are a totally different proposition and all the evidence is that a part of the Brown bounce is made up of returning 2005 voters for Kennedy’s party. There are a lot of them. Between 2001 and 2005 Labour dropped six percentage points most of which seems to have been caused by Iraq.
Once that is finally off the agenda then Labour must be hoping that LD voters might come back.
Individual polls vary but my guess is that about a third of those who abandoned Labour at the last election have now returned and that move has been accelerated since Gord’s arrival. So there’s still a lot to play for which is why, as both Cameron and Brown have identified, the next election is about winning the centre ground.
The Lib Dems also hold a raft of seats where Labour is sitting in second place and might have hopes of victory. Of Brown’s top 50 targets a fifth are in Lib Dem hands.
If the Tories do make some progress then it would be nice to off-set part of the impact with some gains from the Lib Dems.
So the interesting dilemma for Brown is how can he continue with his Tory undermining strategy while at the same time building up his appeal to Lib Dem waverers? For while yesterday’s conference speech might have helped the former there was not that much to appeal to the latter.
Maybe an early move on ID cards could help?
The reason why I think that an election is not imminent is that there’s still a long way to go before Gordon has the Tories where he wants them.