Apparently, Cameron is worried that the election of Hollande in France might give people the impression that ‘growth’ is an alternative to ‘austerity’. I can see why that might worry him – an alternative narrative is clearly proving attractive, and that attraction is not limited to France.
Whether Hollande’s actions will live up to his rhetoric is yet to be seen; it’s not only in the UK that politicians exaggerate the differences between them at election times in order to do exactly the same once safely in office. And whilst the rhetoric of the Labour Party in the UK might at times sound as though they are going to follow a similar narrative to that espoused by Hollande, the policy differences between the UK Government and Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition are a great deal less significant than the rhetoric might suggest.
As I understand the Labour Party’s policy, it is that the cuts should be slightly smaller and made slightly more slowly – that’s a long way short of a positing growth as an alternative to austerity. The real difference between government and opposition amounts to little more than tinkering on the fringes. So Cameron is right to be worried electorally, but if he sincerely believes that the policies being followed are the right ones, then he probably has little to fear in economic terms from a change of government.