Does the Osborne gamble dominate everything?
If the polls have got this right then within the next seven months George Osborne will be the chancellor at a time when circumstances dictate hard unpopular action.
The question for the Tories here in Manchester this week was whether to try to skip over the details and talk in generalities or else or to start to spell out how a Tory government would handle things. Along with many I thought that they’s opt for the former.
But as we saw in Tuesday the Tories have now bet their future on the Osborne approach of giving news now of some of the pain in the hope that voters will give them credit for being straight.
This is not so much about the detail of what’s proposed but whether voters are persuaded by those who seek make these decisions. That’s why personalities do matter. Is there enough confidence to opt for a change of government?
So much of this is tied up with perceptions of Osborne – someone who has had a roller-coaster year and, as is being widely said, has taken special training to deal with that awful squeaky voice. Has he done enough?
It’s always said that general elections usually boil down to two choices – “It’s time for change” or “Don’t risk it with the other lot“. Labour will be doing all it can in the coming months to undermine Osborne to sow doubts about him being given all this responsibility.
Will they succeed? My guess is that they won’t but the post conference polls might tell us.