We chanced to be in the middle of Dorset West having a pub lunch earlier today (somebody’s got to do it).
There we were minding our own business in the corner. And suddenly the discussion in the bar turned to the General Election.
To general agreement, the landlord announced:
“And, of course, if the Tories get in, they’ll put VAT up to 20% and increase the tax on beer and cigarettes.”
Now I appreciate that one should not extrapolate from one pub landlord. However, most pub landlords would only express such trenchant political views to their clientele if they were fairly confident that there would be substantial agreement – and there was certainly no disagreement that I heard voiced.
So why is this significant?
Well this was in the heart of Dorset West. A seat that Oliver Letwin is defending for the Conservatives against a strong LibDem challenge. A seat that is a LibDem target with a majority of only 2,461.
Not good news for Letwin. And a sign that Cameron’s complacency is misplaced.