In the spring of 2010, life was pretty good for David Cameron. Things were rosy in the garden at number 10 as the newly appointed prime minister and his new his deputy Nick Clegg discovered a friendship lying in dormant within Westminster.
But, the foundations which Cameron’s incumbency are built on are very thin indeed. The new prime minister won only 36% of the votes in the general election, about the same as Tony Blair received in 2005. This of course led to Cameron having to be propped up by the Liberal Democrats.
Despite a Labour party and leader in Brown the public were keen to evict from Downing Street, feelings still strong about the Iraq war, the worst recession in living memory and public feeling that Labour had become stale, David Cameron failed, quite badly, to convince people that he was the right man to take the country forward.
This meant it was always going to be an uphill battle for Cameron to receive public support. A decline of popularity in the polls since the general election and a massive drop in votes at the OES by-election indicates how tough that job is going to be.
This isn’t some sort of loony left rant. Those within his own party are too asking the question of how David Cameron failed to win the majority the party craved.
A rise in VAT at the time of living costs rising, bankers bonuses and the scrapping of the EMA have probably not helped Cameron’s case since the general election.
But let’s also remember that people didn’t vote for Tory cuts. The general election saw 52% of voters support the Labour and Liberal Democrat view of slower, less savage cuts. Simply put, the coalition have no mandate for sweeping, brutal spending cuts. And the public may soon remind them of that.
And, If Cameron’s policy on the NHS means hospitals close and people have to wait or miss out on treatment, his career as PM is over.
Of course it’s still early days and if the economy picks up, people are in work, there’s money back in people’s pockets and other policies such as the NHS reorganisation are a success, Cameron can turn this round.
If Labour fail to inspire we will easily see a reversal and Ed Miliband still has much work to do himself to convince people he can lead the country.
But the uphill battle for Cameron continues as he tries to convince people that he is the right man to be in number 10.