Conservative Home are the latest to brand this as a poor week for George Osborne. His widespread trumpeting that last Monday would mark the death of Labour, has been followed by a further narrowing in the polls. This has only confirmed the suspicions of many that Osborne is playing beyond his game:
'Many journalists thought that the two most powerful figures in the Conservative Party had overdone it. One told ConservativeHome that they were being too political and insufficiently serious. The impression wasn't helped by George Osborne joking about Channel 4's news budget during the press conference. Try serious serious, serious in future George when People's mortgages and shares are at risk.'
With the Tory stock stubbornly refusing to rise above its current level, those on both the right and left are wondering whether Cameron should bring in a substantial 'grey hair' as Shadow Chancellor. One name that is rising above the rest is ex-treasury spokesman and member of the Treasury Select Committee Michael Fallon (pictured).
Fallon has plenty of experience in dissecting the nitty gritty of government economic policy and also has the broad shoulders that the position requires. He can usually be seen sitting near the back of the chamber near other grey-hairs such as Howard and Clarke. With someone like Fallon on board, the Tories could bat away Brown's 'all style no substance' claims in a flash.
So the question remains: Is Cameron brave enough to take on his old friend for the good of the party? Does he have the courage to choose wisdom over youth?