Fraser Nelson’s Telegraph column makes sobering reading for government benches:
“Those same Tories, who once gossiped about a 2019 battle between George Osborne and Boris Johnson to be the next PM, now talk of a 2015 race to be leader of the opposition.”
Some — including at cabinet level — are already making plans to flee the sinking ship:
“I know of one Cabinet member who is already moving his family to London, after concluding that it doesn’t matter what his constituents think because they’ll boot him out at the next election anyway.”
So who could this mystery (male) cabinet member be? With nearly all Tories in possession of handsome majorities, the nomadic member of the executive can likely be narrowed to one Conservative and two Liberal Democrats:
- Secretary of state for Wales David Jones secured a majority of 6,419 in Clwyd West. But his Welsh Assembly colleague Darren Millar saw support for the Tories fall to 4,248 for the same area just one year into coalition — and before the cuts started to bite. This seat looks a dead cert to return to Labour for the first time since 2005.
- Secretary of state for Scotland Michael Moore is defending a majority of 5,675 in Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk. The fact that the Tories are in second place and SNP nowhere is likely to save his bacon, however.
- Perhaps the most delicious scalp could be that of chief Osborne collaborator Danny Alexander. With a lead of 8,765 over competitors in his Highlands seat, Beaker will be hoping that the opposition will be split between Labour and SNP in what has been considered a three-way marginal.
Can our Westminster and Whitehall readers shed any light on the matter?