Did Balls think the election was still on?
While we are going though a very quiet period with almost no political betting going on I thought it worth concentrating further on that first week of October 2007 which we might look back upon as the period that defined Labour’s third term.
The clash in the clip was of a discussion before the non-election announcement. What I find striking is how pumped up Ed Balls was – even more so than usual. Did he still think then that the November 2007 election was going to happen?
It will be recalled that throughout September there had been almost a major policy announcement a day. Labour’s conference had been carefully choreographed and in polls taken immediately afterwards the party moved into a double digit lead. On the spreads I, foolishly, bought Labour seats at the 332 level.
The Brown/Balls objective had been to create an environment in which the Tories would implode at their conference at the start of October and then call the election. What knocked this out of gear was that Cameron’s party, faced with an imminent election defeat, became extraordinarily unified.
Labour’s poll lead simply evaporated and the rest, as they say, is history.