Is about 10pence it seems. This whole sorry saga is quite shocking for a man that may not have been renowned for a great deal across his career except for his competent management of the economy. How this went so wrong we may never discover until memoirs appear, if it was a mistake in the first instance then no-one seemed to notice until too late; whatever the political and financial ramifications seem to have been completely ignored. Is this the final straw, the low point from Labour cannot return. The Conservatives seemed doomed to lose from the first poll taken after Black Wednesday, while Brown's standing has never been high is this the event that means that the next election is the Conservatives to lose? It is whether there is a symbolic significance attached to the recent economic events.
If economic management is all Brown stands for within the public consciousness then that is now shattered as it seems that the decline in support is linked to accusations of dithering over the future of Northern Rock, is inability to explain how economic stability will be maintained or how much it will cost the nation, and this long drawn out series of discussions over the 10p rate where Brown simply got it wrong. What could brown do to reverse his standing, how much will the heartlands abandon Labour for alternative leftist parties or the Liberal Democrats, or perhaps more importantly what would David Cameron have to do to lose the election. What will be interesting in Crewe & Nantwich is not who wins or not but the extent of the swings in votes. If these indicate vote switching away from Labour it could say a great deal about the general tide as there is no incumbency or personal vote. So it could be, in microcosm, despite the lower turnout, the general feeling of the nation if May 20th was a General Election and not just a by-election.