Interesting to note that on an opinion poll used by Sky News this morning, given the +/- 2% margin of error, Labour could even be in third place as things stand (Con 39, Lab 26, LD 22, Others 13), this equates to around a 100 seat majority for Blue Labour if there were an election tomorrow. Except it wouldn't. With news this morning coming out about Tories claiming for moats, swimming pools, helipads and the like, one can only assume that any polls taken over the next day or two will result in a significant bounce for the Social Democrats who have been untouched as yet. That'll change though, because they are all at it. Even if they're not, that will be the public's view. Look for the 'others' column to increase over the next couple of weeks.
Make no mistake, the Telegraph are saving the best (worst?) for last, and any significant revelations about Labour MP's coming just as we go to the real polls for what promises to be a catastrophic display in the Europeans and locals for Labour could well bring Brown, if not the Government, down. I can't see the Labour membership wearing a third Prime Minister in one Parliamentary term, any such leader would be as effective as a window box on a submarine.
It has been clear for some time that Labour's chances of winning the next General Election are rated between slim and none, but that doesn't mean that Labour will sit back and wait for the welcoming embrace of death, they will do everything they can to make life for a new Tory administration as uncomfortable as possible. Brown isn't so deluded that he thinks he can win, but he can't very well come out and say 'well folks, we're fucked'.
This expenses carry on could actually be quite useful for Labour. Their stock is so damaged that really it can't get any worse, look at those figures again, they are within a whisker of being in third place, factor in votes for the SNP and Plaid Cymru and it is not impossible to imagine them being returned to the House in third place.
Calling an October election would mean that the damage to the Tories over this affair could be maximised. They'd still win, but it would have to have a fairly significant effect on their share of the vote and seats. If the news really got that bad, people would get very angry and make that known at the ballot box.
Here is the bit where Labour could be deluded though, they know that they will lose ground to the BNP and a few to the LibDems, but they don't make the connection. The Tories know that they would lose ground to UKIP, and a few to the LibDems, they too don't make the connection.
The problem with this expenses story is that the main parties will seize upon this as the reason for the expansion of those on the margins, but they'd be wrong. It is certainly a contributory factor, perhaps even the straw that broke the camel's back, but if they think that after one turbulent parliamentary term, that people will just shuffle back to their default positions, they could be in for a shock.
Expect big changes, expect sack cloth and ashes from the MPs representing the established parties, whilst those elected from BNP and UKIP (and I would be astounded if there aren't any) hit them with expenses, expenses, expenses time and time again. Expenses will be the only show in town for some considerable time.
But it isn't the only show, there will be remorse shown and claims of leopards changing their spots, but it won't matter. The established parties will still have this idea that they are the natural party of government, they still won't listen to what the electorate want, they will carry on ruling by dictat, spin and deception. After an October election, called to limit the majority of the incoming government, all three parties will be damaged and the electorate may finally realise the power that little ballot paper holds.
Summer of rage? Forget it. Let's have an Autumn of Revenge instead.