Speaking at The Villiers Inn, Wroughton - near Swindon - Sir George told local Conservatives that last Wednesday may have been the day when the pendulum started to swing back. "People in the City say it is very difficult to pinpoint when the stockmarket stops going down and starts going up; so it is with political commentary. But I would hazard a guess that Wednesday January 9th 2002 was when the political tide began to turn.
Traditional Labour supporting papers began to attack the Government - the Mirror's comment on Stephen Byers being particularly critical; the Prime Minister disappointed his backbenchers in the Commons with a lacklustre performance; Peter Hain went seriously off message; the view that the Prime Minister was spending too much time abroad, and too little time at home, grew wider and wider. The Government's proposals for Lords reform were universally derided.
At the same time, papers commented favourably on Oliver Letwin's speech on crime.
These may all be straws in the wind; but I believe the next opinion poll may bear me out."