Saturday, July 19, 2008
If we read the runes after the latest local council elections in Jacqui Smith's constituency of Redditch, Worcestershire then she will be a gonna at the next general election.
The local Herald newspaper reports that the Conservative candidate Juliet Brunner won in the county's Arrow Valley East division (which has more than a quarter of the constituency's electorate) with a swing of 14.2% since the last shire contest which took place on the same day as the 2005 General Election. A shift of just 3.4% since then would be enough to unseat Ms Smith. A small boundary change is expected to make her even more vulnerable.
Those other high profile Labour Cabinet ministers with marginal seats are also looking very vulnerable - no wonder that Alistair Darling who is on a wafer thin majority himself in his Edinburgh seat has been prepared to show he is not afraid of telling the truth about the economy. It might just save his own neck so that he can remain as an MP in a much smaller Labour Party when they start their next 20 years in opposition.
But as for Jacqui - she'll be back to teaching economics, which is probably a good thing, because she's been bloody useless as Home Secretary. Not that I want to stab her in the back, you understand - I'd rather do it to her front! And what a front! (Oh dear, I've let myself down - I'll get my coat.)