There's an interesting thread HERE on PoliticalBetting.com today asking the question: Will Talking Up Blair's Departure Hasten It? Quite clearly the answer is yes, but the one thing people seem to be missing in this discussion is the fact that the latest Brownite to call for Blair to go sooner rather than later is an MP who has a marginal seat. Step forward Michael Wills. It is MPs like Michael Wills who will do for Tony Blair in the end. There is a good parallel to be drawn between Blair's situation and Margaret Thatcher's downfall in 1990. Margaret Thatcher fell not because of the Poll Tax, not because of Europe, not because she was seen as overbearing. She was overthrown because too many Tory MPs in marginal seats began to see her as an electoral liability who would lose them their jobs. And the same thing is happening to Tony Blair.
As Blair's authority gradually ebbs away, MPs like Michael Wills will become braver and speak out more openly. And before you know where you are the trickle of discontent has become a flood. And once that happens, it's curtains. And in his heart of hearts Tony Blair will know that. On top of this the cash for peerages inquiry will rear its ugly head again very soon. If, as looks likely, Inspector Knacker is pointing his finger at former Labour Party chairman Ian McCartney and Number 10 Director of Government Relations things will look very bleak indeed for the Dear Leader. At that point expect the likes of Michael Wills and his ilk to be even more vocal than they are being at the moment. Hat-tip for graphic to www.bigfib.com
UPDATE: There is even worse news for Tony Blair HERE. And this is a key difference between his situation and Margaret Thatcher's in 1990. She always knew she retained the confidence of Conservative Party members, who, if it had been put to a vote, would have backed her to the hilt - I'd say by an 85-15% margin. I suspect if there were a vote today among Labour Party members Blair would lose it by a small margin. And this is what will make MPs in marginal seats even bolder in what they say.