I was sitting on a panel in the Sky News studios at 2.30am this morning when something horrible flashed up on the giant screen in front of us. Not the tally of lost seats or the projections of what the night’s results would mean if reproduced at a general election – though these were bad enough.
No. It was the sight of the Tory leader and Francis Maude enjoying a smugfest at their Millbank headquarters, all specially filmed for Webcameron. And this was just the local elections. Imagine what a general election victory would be like.
After the weekend, it is absolutely imperative that everyone who supports Labour begins to imagine just that. Because it is now established beyond doubt that a lot of people around the country are considering the prospect seriously and thinking it wouldn’t be that bad.
Whatever happens with the mayoral election results later today, the very fact that large numbers of Londoners thought it was sensible to hand the keys of City Hall to Boris Johnson is a sign that the electorate now believe the Tories can be trusted with power – even that Tory.