It is the easiest thing in the world to to sit back and play the game called, ‘What if?’. It’s far harder to anticipate events and come up with a solution.
Bagehot asks, what if the party had ditched Gordon Brown?
In 1974 Mr Ali was pounded by the fearsome George Foreman, but rallied to knock him out. Is it conceivable that in 2010 Mr Brown might bounce off the ropes to deny David Cameron his victory—or even, amazing as it sounds, win himself?
Now for the significant point:
So, in a way, the most painful thing about the narrowing polls could be their implication for what might have been—painful for Labour that is, rather than the Tories. One big reason Mr Brown has survived in his job is that some Labour MPs thought their cause was lost whoever was in charge. The dangerous ones were the brawlers who thought they could still make a fist of it. Now the weaknesses of the Tories’ campaign, and the softness of their lead, suggest the brawlers were right. This one’s gotta hurt: imagine if Labour had sent someone else into the ring.
The members of the AJ/DM4PM committee are not “brawlers”. We were just right.
The change to Alan Johnson or David Miliband would, at the every least, have ensured a hung parliament. More importantly, the election result would not have been dependent on Team Cameron making a mess of things.