Monday, July 27, 2009
Labour's Uncertain Future
Radio Four's politics show last Saturday morning produced some interesting forecasts for the next election. Peter Riddell and Steve Richards both went for Tories as biggest party but with a possible hung parliament. Mathew D'Ancona went for Tory majority of 80; Elinor Goodman reckoned it would be 30. My instinct is always to trust the wisest of them all- Riddell- but Rawnsley's piece(picture left) last Sunday was fascinating. He diagnosed a major drawing back by voters from the two big parties: they commanded 96% of the vote in 1951; only 66% in 2005, suggesting optioins for 2010 are still wide open.
And since then we've had the economic melt-down and the expenses scandal, neither a mirror of trust or competence. He suggested Labour was in such terminal decline by the 1990s and that Blair's seduction of Middle England, merely provided a disguised patina of life overlaying rigor mortis. He suggested it might be possible Labour would never govern on its own again. Since than we've had the debacle of Norwich and Labour's limp efforts to defend their seat, so I was interested in Neal Lawson's piece(picture right) yesterday. In this he suggested Gordon's best way out would be to add a referendum on changing the voting system-possibly to the Alternative Vote but more desirably to PR- along with the next election poll. Something similar was suggested by Alan Johnson and John Denham a few weeks back.
This way voters, who have simply stopped listening to Brown would be 'electrified' that the radical change they are after was now on offer. It would also present the candidate for change- Cameron- in a reactionary light as he would surely oppose the idea. Finally, Lib Dems would be inclined to vote for Labour and this would limit damage or even assist a surprise victory. My thoughts on this? Nice, innovative(though slightly desperate?) try, Neal- but with Gordon in the driving seat, you know as well as I do, it just ain't going to happen.
Labour has to do something and now! otherwise I can see labour die hards down on bended knee's asking Blair to come back. and that would be the end.
Dave by at least 50 I would suggest. And if the economy moves the way I think it will in the next 10 months, then it could easily be 120 or more.
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