Insights from the UK and beyond
What if it’s not the economy, stupid?
The latest news on the economy has certainly got people in Downing Street smiling. The housing market is stabilising and some commentators are even talking about Britain becoming the first major country to pull out of the recession.
Treasury forecasts of reasonable growth that were derided just two months ago suddenly don’t look so bad.
The Number 10 dream scenario is that the economy recovers strongly, Brown takes the credit and the polls turn in time for a May election.
But what happens if the economy does turn around by the end of the year and the polls don’t get any better?
If that happens, some party strategists are wondering whether that might be a good time for Brown to step down, say in January.
He could say he did what he set out to do — get Britain through the recession — and it was now time for a new face.
The honeymoon bounce could end up being Labour’s only hope.