Gordon Brown will address the TUC conference in Liverpool today, as his position as leader again comes under the spotlight in the media and in the conference halls.
In a Populus poll for the Times, 48% of voters said “literally anyone” else in the Labour party would be preferable to Brown, while only 34% see him as an asset. 61% regard him as a liability for Labour.
The PM will address the TUC conference later today, and is expected to use the word “cuts” in referring to Labour’s real terms spending plans for the first time. The language will not impress the Unions, who are increasingly using their clout to install their favoured candidates in “safer” Labour seats.
Derek Simpson, the join General Secretary of Unite, has already come out this week in support of Ed Miliband as Labour’s next leader (though he’s laughed it off, of course), and there are reports that Harriet Harman is taking members’ temperatures on her own potential leadership bid should a vacancy arise.
Why can’t I help the feeling that all this was inevitable? We’ve known since June, if not before, that Labour’s conference season would be less the expression of party unity and ideas that it’s designed to be, and more a frenzy of speculation surrounding the leadership.
One thing’s certain: if we can’t get off the back foot, and all this maneuvering and positioning, election defeat is the next inevitability.