Politics abhors a news vacuum. So with the government on holiday, attention shifts to the opposition. This is why oppositions normally have a whole series of summer stories ready to fill this vacuum. But, oddly, we have heard little from the Labour front bench in the last ten days or so. One consequence of this is that criticisms of Ed Miliband’s leadership by the Labour backbencher George Mudie are going to get more play than they normally would in tomorrow’s papers.
There’ve been none of the attacks on a government that you would expect from the opposition in the penultimate summer before a general election. It is hard not to feel that Ed Miliband is being let down by a shadow Cabinet that isn’t being as energetic as it should be.
Meanwhile, on the Tory side, there’s rising optimism about the result of the next election. One of the reasons that Boris Johnson is currently not planning to stand, as The Spectator revealed yesterday, is that he thinks David Cameron is more likely than not still to be Prime Minister after the 2015 vote.
This mood of Tory optimism could well be shattered by some unforeseen event. But for the moment, it is holding and growing. Tory discipline improves, and so the spotlight moves onto Labour and its discontents.
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