X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Please note: Previously subscribers used a 'WebID' to log into the website. Your subscriber number is not the same as the WebID. Please ensure you use the subscriber number when you link your subscription.

Coffee House

Expect the unexpected

13 December 2010

8:22 PM

13 December 2010

8:22 PM

Peter Kellner has an interesting comment piece up on the YouGov site about how we are in the unusual position of having three relatively unpopular party leaders. Nick Clegg’s approval rating is down at minus 29 but that hasn’t helped Ed Miliband who is at minus 15. David Cameron does have a positive rating, but only just. His approval rating is plus one. As Kellner points out, normally when one political leader is unpopular another benefits. But that hasn’t happened this time: a sign of how strong a hold anti-politics has on the public consciousness.

This discontent is mirrored by how all three parties are having quite serious debates about what they should be. Labour is trying to answer the question of what the purpose of the party is when there’s no money left to spend. The Conservatives are debating whether they want to be ‘mainstream Conservatives’ with robust positions on tax, Europe and immigration or liberal Conservatives who try and hold the perceived centre. For their part, the Liberal Democrats are having an existential crisis about who they are which might end up splitting the party.  Add to this mix a hardcore of thugs who want to hijack demos against the cuts to try and show that Britain is ungovernable and you have a particularly unpredictable political environment.

A year ago the idea that Nick Clegg would being burnt in effigy and that the Home Secretary would be being questioned on whether water cannon will be used on protestors would have seemed fanciful, the kind of far-fetched predictions that columnists produce to fill newspapers between Christmas and New Year. So I would rule little out for next year.
 

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
Close