Is he having second thoughts about his exit date?
Following Cameron’s comments in the BBC interview at the end of March there’s a widespread assumption that at some stage this parliament that he’ll step aside and a new CON leader will be elected presumably becoming PM before the May 2020 general election.
But is he? The conversation in Cameron’s kitchen came at a time when the election outcome looked very tight. Very few were making assumptions that an overall CON majority was going to be possible. The political context was very different from today.
There were many in the party ready to cast the blame on Dave for failing in 2010 to secure a majority against Gordon Brown. In May, against all expectations, Cameron became an unequivocal election winner.
Now the Tories are in power without the encumbrance of the LDs and look set to be there for all the five years. In the meantime we’ve seen the extraordinary developments within LAB which looks even further now from a GE20 victory than it did on May 8th. Could Cameron’s view of his own future have changed? This was John Rentoul in yesterday’s Indy on Sunday.
“Soon Cameron will have to manage speculation about exactly when before the next election he will stand down, as promised from his Oxfordshire kitchen to the BBCâ€™s James Landale, who tried to hide his excitement at the scoop by fiddling with some vegetable or other.
Indeed, the Prime Minister might have to manage the speculation (from me) that he might change his mind about stepping down before the next election. On current trends, it doesnâ€™t look as if the Labour Party is going to put up much of a fight, so you can imagine Cameron having second thoughts. As he entertained Westminster journalists in the garden of No 10 last week, he looked as fresh-faced as ever, invigorated by the youth-giving elixir of election victory.”
I agree with Rentoul’s observation. It is far from clear that Cameron will go according to the assumed time-table. Walloping LAB again in a general election might prove to be too tempting.