Could a collapse on this scale seal Gordon’s fate?
I’ve just had a long phone call with my closest Labour party link and he was suggesting that Henley could have the same impact on Gordon Brown’s leadership as the reverberations within the Tory party from the Bradford North by election in November 1990. It was this result – a 16% CON>LAB swing – that provided the backcloth for the dramatic events that month that eventually led to Maggie’s departure.
My contact, who has worked right at the heart of the party, says there’s widespread recognition at all levels within the movement that the only hope for Labour is for Gordon to go. The only question is how? Who would make a move?
Recalling how the pressure was ratcheted up Tony Blair in September 2006 when Tom Watson resigned with the threat of others to follow my contact said that something equivalent should happen now. A positive side of a Henley deposit loss would be that it could be the catalyst.
Unless the Lib Dems take the seat or come reasonably close then the big story tomorrow might be Labour. We shall see
UPDATE: The original graphic from Wikipedia was wrong. This has now been updated.