Monday, July 02, 2007


Will Gordon Call an Early Election?

Yesterday Michael Portillo- the man incidentally hated by Iain Dale and Conservative Home(see posts of a few days ago) dismissed the idea of an early election, aroused by the appointment of an Election Coordinator(Douglas Alexander) and the (for Tories) worrying Brown bounce in the polls

By the way, last week’s flurry of speculation about an early election was absurd. Brown would call one only if the opinion polls suggested with reasonable certainty that he would improve on his present parliamentary score. That is most unlikely, and we should expect Brown to stick with his built-in domination of the Commons until well into the fifth year of this parliament.

Yet today Jackie Ashley writes:

Brown's decision to lay the ground for an early election, likelier next year than this, seems sensible.

Who is closer to the truth? Portillo's assumption that it's basically about the size of his majority must be wrong: Gordon wants the extra time a victory would provide and prevent him becoming a 'fag-end' PM like Jim Callaghan. Stringing it out until 2010 would be giving a dangerous hostage to fortune and ideally a quick election victory is what Brown would like. But will he call one?

On balance I think not and that the former Tory 'Leader in Waiting' is closer to Brown's thinking. Why?

1.Voters are notorious for punishing the person who inflicts too many elections upon them.

2.An election within a year, as Ashley implies, would give his new team no time to show its paces.

3. Labour is broke. Calling an election within such a short time span would embarrass a party with a debts of well over £12million.

No, I don't see an election until 2009 at the earliest. Unless, that is, Gordon can extract huge early donations from Sir Ronald Cohen and his mates in the private equity business- given recent run-ins with Knacker of the Yard that's not likely either. But the Conservatives, or anyone except Brown of course, will not know for sure and will have to be on permanent, nervous, election alert which will suit Gordon just fine.

Yes, 2009 is the one. Gordon wants seven years as premier but has promised Miliband he will only serve one full Parliamentary term. That means the election must still be two years away.
But does David agree the 'deal' is like this? Sounds suspiciously like a recipe for trouble down the line.
As a Tory, faced with the choice of Dave or Miliband, I would be forced to stay at home...and hope Miliband won.

BTW Jackie Smith looks about as convincing as Home Secretary as a snowstorm in hell. This woman couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery. One of the most important positions of state, in charge of protecting people from the most vicious range of murderers this country has ever faced, and Broon appoints someone worse than Hazel Blears or Harriet Harman. Brillaint(!). I am getting sick of these non-entities. In the past, I used to dislike Nu Labor, but at least some of them had ability. Now we are reduced to dross like this.
Your reaction to Jacqui Smith is out of kilter with the majority view to date. Whereas Blair and Reid used to grandstand and appear slightly hysterical Ms Smith seems like, as Simon Hoggart approvingly notes this morning, the secretary presiding over a WI meeting. So far, I agree with the 'keep cool' school of thought but it's early days.
Yes but Blair and Reid were intelligent men. So was Charles Clarke, though he made one absolute cock-up. Poor old Jacqui just doesn't have enough of the grey matter between her ears. Even the coolest acting performance in the world won't keep us safe from Al Qaeda.
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