The road to a Tory government appears not to have any turnoffs, or so says no less a blogger than Will Patterson, in concluding a typically compelling and thorough piece entitled 'The Rise of the Teflon Tories'.
But on a recent edition of the STV's Politics Now programme Bill Miller, professor of politics at the University of Glasgow, suggested that David Cameron could be the Tory Party's Neil Kinnock. The then Labour leader - not to mention most of the country - thought he had the 1992 general election in the bag, only for the Conservatives to secure a decisive victory on the day. For a considerable period before the election Labour had held a substantial lead in the opinion polls, and victory looked almost certain. But the Sun's infamous 'If Kinnock wins today will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights' headline - recently back in the news due to the newspaper's decision to withdraw its support from Labour - set the scene for a disastrous vote for Labour and the return of a Tory Government.
Although the tabloid credited itself with engineering a last minute swing away from Labour - 'It's the Sun wot won it' - a more plausible explanation is perhaps that voters didn't really trust the left wing, firebrand Kinnock, and considered John Major's government a safe pair of hands, despite its declining popularity. And the consistently favourable opinion poll results for Labour were rationalised on the basis that many people had become embarrassed to even declare they would support the Conservatives in an election.
Thus could David Cameron ultimately be the Tories' Neil Kinnock and Gordon Brown Labour's John Major? When push comes to shove, voters could well prefer the Labour leader's (relatively) safe pair of hands to the untried marketing man currently leading the Conservatives. And the opinion polls could be overstating support for Cameron's Tories because the public do not want to openly declare their support for Brown's Labour, even if only to pollsters.
Far fetched, perhaps, but in any case six months or so is a long time in politics. Perhaps Brown is indeed a busted flush, but maybe the road to a Tory government does in fact have a turnoff in the form of hung parliament, as Iain Macwhirter argues in today's Sunday Herald.
And that's probably the result Alex Salmond would find most palatable as well, because today's news that the SNP would assist the Tories in a hung parliament in return for concessions seems otherwise unlikely to offer anything but grief for the Nationalists.