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Britain's got three "Nos"

BRACE yourselves. Britain may be about to stage a first in democratic history: an election where EVERYONE loses.

The local and Euro elections are held next Thursday. And each party leader has their own reason to fear the result.

For the Tories: no enthusiasm. For the LibDems: no tide change. For Labour: no votes. And for voters: no point.

The exhibition of naked greed in Westminster means most voters will simply stay away. Who can you vote for?

One thing's for sure: not the government. That's why Gordon Brown is spending this weekend gripped by paranoid fear. He may well be about to lead his party to the worst defeat in its post-war history, a new low in his great limbo dance.

Already, I'm picking up signs of panic from his party, which thinks this is a mid-point before a massacre on election day.

"If we finish fourth behind UKIP, we can't be seen as a serious political party," one Cabinet member said. "We'll have to change."

But to whom? To what? There's no candidate, no mechanism, no strategy. The leadership battle is a farce with no plot or finale. Of course, my Cabinet member may be wrong. Polls put Labour third behind UKIP, with fourth place going to Nick Clegg.

The Lib Dems should be mopping up votes, posing as the good guys. But Clegg's Little Saint Nick act has failed to inspire. People want a protest vote that will actually hurt.

This explains the success of UKIP. It isn't even a proper political party, just a way for people to make anger heard.


And my, is there a lot to be angry about. Where's the vote we were promised on the renamed EU Constitution? The rotten EU system sums up that old joke: if voting actually changed anything, it would be illegal.

David Cameron's Conservatives will get the most votes in next week's election. But it won't feel like a victory. He will be Prime Minister this time next year, nothing surer. But never has a 20-point poll lead looked more hollow.

Cam is level-headed enough to realise where these votes are coming from. He's being used as a stick to beat the government with.

And many of these votes could turn against him, just as quickly. Especially given the brutal surgery he'll need to perform in office.

I'm told he's in a tetchy mood and talking more radically in private than in public. I think I know why. Cam senses an opportunity here, not just to win the election, but to reshape British politics.

The nation is in flux - as it was with Attlee in 1945 and Thatcher in 1979. What will Cam do with this opportunity?

His current agenda is NOT inspirational. That's why there's no hunger for a Tory government, as there once was for Blair.

And I suspect THIS is what's eating Cam. He knows he could be riding the wave of public anger, but he isn't.

He has acted decisively, almost brutally, over expenses - but is still some way from being seen as a purifying force.

Do I think Cam has it in him to form a radical agenda that can transform Britain? Absolutely.

But there's too many policies left over from his early hoodie-hugging days, where his motto was "softly softly catchee Gordie".

Now it's more a case of "boldly, bravely, savee country". And his mission, now, will be to adapt to these changed times.

So sure, Cameron will attract way more votes than his rivals: Brown, Clegg or UKIP's Nigel Farrage. But he knows that, on Thursday, the real winner will be none of the above.



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