Up he stood with one prepared earlier by nitwits unknown.
Faced with prolonged Tory cheers, the ones he gets every week, he said, “Let’s see if they’re still cheering on Friday!” (Laughter)
The Rochester by-election is set to give the Tories a rollicking. That much we have known for a fortnight, all through Ed’s leadership crisis.
But it’s usually a mistake to chaff the prime minister. “I make one prediction,” he said in his easy, Eton house-room way, “the people behind me will still be cheering HIM on Friday.”
The news on Friday morning may be shocking enough to revive Labour panic. What happens if they poll 15 per cent? Tory failure has been priced in – has Labour melt-away? How will the 100-odd Labour MPs feel when their vulnerability is dramatised for them? When they look ahead to the loss of their precious seat?
Because it’s all about Ed. Presidential Ed. The teeth of the campaign. The big brain behind it. The single greatest weakness of the party is given the greatest prominence. Who thought that was a good idea?
It isn’t a confection of the right wing press: voters look at Ed and shudder.