Apologies if this post is a bit repetitive - but I really do think the last few days has been a watershed in British politics. A week ago, I really believed that Gordon Brown was riding so high in the polls that he would not be able to resist going for a 'cut and run' opportunistic General Election. I thought his Conference speech was authoritative and worked well - even if I didn't swallow a word of it. But then he went to Iraq in the middle of the Conservative Party Conference to make an announcement that 1000 of our troops would be home by Christmas. He was a fool to do this - and he threw away the sort of chance that he my well never have again. He looked like a spiv, playing politics with our armed forces, many of whom have paid the ultimate price and many more who will. The media completely misjudged this. No shock there. The visit was portrayed an a serious Prime Ministerial visit. But the public are not so stupid. They know a spiv when they see one - and they know a political stunt when they see one as well.
And then David Cameron produced a fantastic speech at Blackpool. He looked like a modern Prime Minister, talking to his audience, rather that at them. Again, some of the commentators got it wrong. I heard Mathew Parris, normally so astute, on 5 Live today saying that Cameron's style had sacrificed authority and didn't look like a Prime Minister. I thought this to be just about the poorest judgement that I have ever heard Mathew express. I reckoned that the public would think it was a great 'reaching out' speech.
So I'm waiting for the weekend polls - hoping they will stop Brown 'cutting and running'. Tomorrow's polls have the Labour lead collapsing - to between 1 and 4%. I reckon the weekend's will be the same. Brown's chance has gone. Great news for me if it has. I spent this morning in Caersws, blatantly canvassing - finishing up in Feast for Food for a chat with anyone who wanted to call in to see me. I really enjoyed it. And that is why I do not want an election yet. I enjoy canvassing and discussing issues and problems with Montgomeryshire people - and dealing with them. In truth I'm operating as a voluntary MP. OK, Lembit has got a good majority, but I am going to give him one hell of a fight. He is going to have to spend a lot more time in Montgomeryshire if he wants to hang on to his seat - and the longer I have, the better my chances are going to be. So fingers crossed for the weekend polls.