Theresa May may not have the love of her party. But she has its admiring, horrified sympathy.
If her speech today had been precisely choreographed to act as a metaphor for her premiership, it could not have been more perfect.
A bright, confident start. A sudden disruption (via a “comedian” with a P45). The whole thing plunging off the rails, as May’s voice went from strong and stable to weak and wobbly.
The PM struggling on, even as many in the audience were begging her to stop. Equilibrium just about restored, but still the sense that the whole thing could fall apart at any point. And then – just when she thought she’d got through it, the slogan behind her starting to fall apart.
CHASER? YES, THAT WAS A METAPHOR FOR SOMETHING: The Tories are giving Jeremy Corbyn a clear run at No 10.
Corbyn is now the bookies’ favourite to be the next prime minister. He has Theresa May to thank for this change in his fortunes. It was her decision to call an early election that allowed him to turn things around. Up to this point, Corbyn — for all his grassroots adulation — had been a bit of a Westminster joke: 172 of his own MPs had previously declared that they had no confidence in him. But his internal critics, who wanted to ensure there was no stab-in-the-back narrative, stayed silent this time. Corbyn was free to fight a campaign where low expectations worked in his favour.
Helped by Tory divisions, Corbyn has consolidated his position since the election. Voters have hardly recoiled on realising how close to power he is. Instead, Labour is still polling at 40 per cent or above.
May is no Thatcher and Corbyn is no Blair — Britain’s mood may be swinging dangerously Left.