Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Never mind Dave's speech, the Election is Still Probably On
Of course, I don't know. But the delegates at the conference seemed in very good heart- overall they've made a decent fist of appearing to relish an election. But in reality the party chiefs are hoping Brown will row back and decide to wait at least until next spring. Whether public opinion has been shifted sufficiently to make the snap election a gamble not worth taking lies in the hands of the private pollsters no doubt already posing questions as I write this.
I always take the opinions of my current affairs class seriously- two dozen senior citizens who share some of my fascinations with British politics. At our first meeting this morning a big majority thought Brown would not take the gamble. I'm not so sure. Gordon has allowed the speculation to continue to such a pitch- he could have squashed it days ago-and has taken other apparently preparatory steps like bringing announcements forward. I can't see him backing down now without losing an unacceptable amount to face. I think the election is still on.
There is still the outstanding devolution issues with the West Lothian problem which would play well into a conservative 'english votes for english issues campaign'.
There are many people who have pension problems which he has contributed to. The Lib Dems may get squeezed but overall while I think he'd win it wouldn't surprise me if his majority was cut. That would be a big loss of face.
I agree. It's a huge risk but he's gone so far now he'll look a 'choker' if he pulls back and hand over the initiative to Dave.
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