A hint of a Happy Christmas for Gordon

You can feel the waves of anxiety coming at you from the lively Tory house journal the Spectator, hit by the Indy’s ComRes poll that the Conservatives are only (only!) nine points clear – and with holes. And who says the Americans are indifferent to British politics? The Wall St Journal, no less, gives Cameron a solemn lesson.

if he wants to convince Britain that he deserves to be its Prime Minister with a proper parliamentary majority, Mr. Cameron will need to produce his biggest rabbit out of a hat yet What’s he about? What’s the story he’s trying to tell?” asks a natural Cameron supporter.

The committed pro-Labour Mirror’s Kevin Maguire fresh from a chat with Gordon, is actually bullish about the PM who it seems is even trying to do human. Meanwhile election battle lines are being drawn – within Labour. The story about a spurned Mandleson clearly has legs and suggests Brown intends to fight the election campaign from a left core base, while Mandy wants to hang loose in a middle Britain direction. Barring too many flounces, I would expect the calendar to compel an easy enough reconciliation. The Torygraph does its best to put a brave spin on it for Cameron, suggesting that Labour’s very revival increases the chances of a late putsch against Gordon. What a wonderful trade is political journalism. Ace polling analyst John Curtice delivers the cautionary tale to any hint of Labour eurphoria. All the same, it’s enough to make me want to hug a hoodie. These spasms of volatility look like rescuing us from the deep boredom of a long run-in to a predictable election result.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London