So it’s official: there is a new Captain of the Titanic (otherwise known as the Conservative Party).
The results of the party faithful have been counted and it has come as a great surprise to absolutely nobody that David Cameron defeated David ‘A Bit Creepy’ Davis by 134,446 votes to 64,398. So this should make things interesting. The Conservatives have finally selected someone arguably capable of making their party electable again just as the Labour government have suffered the toughest couple of months in their history. I’ve argued elsewhere that Cameron probably isn’t ready to take on Blair just yet, but he’s got plenty of time to learn. In the meantime, he can take consolation from the fact that Labour’s backbenchers are doing a pretty good job of keeping their leader’s ambition in check by themselves. Meanwhile Gordon Brown, who is almost certain to be Cameron’s opponent in the next general election, has had a bad couple of days after having been forced to admit that his sums haven’t quite added up as he’d hoped. Economic growth, predicted to be 3-3.5% this year, has turned out to be more like 1.75%. In addition, he’s been forced to go to the capital markets to plug the resultant spending gap, pushing UK government borrowing up to £37 billion. A real embarrassment for the man who prides himself on having steered the British economy so skilfully.
So Cameron certainly won’t be short of ammunition on his first day in charge. The next Prime Minister’s question time should make interesting viewing.