Good Week, Bad Week 15/01/12

Good Week

David Cameron- The Prime Minister has had a good week with Ed Miliband’s leadership in jeopardy. Prime Minister’s Questions this week was a tame affair, which Cameron would settle for every week. The question of the Scottish Independence Referendum dominated the news agenda this week, with Cameron opting to (seemingly) allow Alex Salmond to hold it in late 2014. Whether or not the Prime Minister gets his desired simple “In/Out” Referendum question is still up in the air however.

Nick Clegg- The Deputy Prime Minister had a typically quiet week this week, with Clegg engaging Salmond in some light chest beating over the Scottish Independence Referendum. His party’s poll ratings are still a cause for concern as they dropped below double digits with YouGov.

Alex Salmond- Salmond has (again seemingly) got his desired time of late 2014 for the Scottish Independence Referendum. I cannot imagine the Westminster Government allowing a third “Devolution Max” question now as they have all but conceded to the SNP’s timetable. This far out from the Referendum predictions are tricky, but all signs point to the Scottish people rejecting independence outright and perhaps getting a separate “Devolution Max” Referendum by the end of the decade.

Mitt Romney- Romney convincingly won the New Hampshire Primary and now looks to odds on to gain the Republican Presidential Nomination for 2012. I suspect the GOP race may be over sooner rather than later because none of Romney’s opponents have vast sums of money to spend on campaigning/attack ads.

Bad Week

Ed Miliband- The Leader of the Opposition is on very thin ice as the Labour Party questions if he is up to the job. Miliband’s key issue is that he doesn’t exude charisma or look like a Prime Minister in waiting. A secondary issue for Miliband is that his policies, however good, are presented in a way that makes them look complex. Simple narratives in politics generally work and Miliband desperately needs to find a compelling, simple to understand set of policies to “sell” to voters. The next few months are crucial for Miliband, if he lasts that long. A loss for Ken Livingstone in the London Mayoral Election may signal a decisive end for Miliband’s leadership.

Ed Balls- Balls’ admission that he would back a public sector pay freeze at the current time has predictably angered the unions who pay the majority of Labour’s bills. This was not the wisest move given there was no pressure on Balls to say anything on public sector pay currently.

Rachel Reeves- Reeves this week in a newspaper interview stated that Labour is still not in a position to govern. This is not something I’d expect to hear from a Shadow Cabinet member in public and is a puzzling statement to make in mid Parliament.

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