Take a small risk and assume that Dave is the next PM, not with a hung parliament either, the real deal with a modest majority. In The Knife’s opinion this is the likeliest scenario. The real issue is therefore the election after that, probably 2014.
There are plenty of things to do in the first term, Blair pretty much wasted his, fannying around with fox hunting and other massively important topics . Dave and his friends will be busy making themselves unpopular, but there is no way the country will be turned round after 4 years, it’s going to take two full parliaments at least. So how will they avoid being chucked out by an electorate slowly forgetting the monstrous Brown legacy, and already fed up with the necessary austerity?
I don’t know. Obviously a short sharp war would help, but the options for that are …er…limited. You get the impression that many Labourites want to lose this year, and pinch it back after a grim 4 years, that seems to be what Polly’s banking on.
UPDATE: 19/02/10, Daniel Korski at The Coffee House summarises the necessary mood music of the first term well