Monday, September 24, 2007

There will not be an October election, but the speculation will damage Labour.

I have said all along that there will not be an October election. That is still my view, unless Gordon Brown gets very reckless.

However the failure to rule one out, and it being reported as a ruse to disturb the Conservatives (which has been the underlying current of some of the media reporting) will come back to haunt Labour if Gordon Brown does not have an early election.

There is of course a downside, which is that he does have an early election. If he does then he faces the possibility of losing seats, and bringing on some lame duck feeling. This is a certainty. Labour will have a smaller majority, if it has one at all, than last time.

The other thing is that the electorate may smell a rat, even if one is not there. They seem to punish those that put them through unnecessary elections. What is more, is that they may feel that the election is being called because the politicians know something they don't, for example that there is going to be an economic downturn. To be fair the polls indicate that Gordon Brown is more trusted in a crisis than David Cameron, however firstly that sows doubt, and secondly the last thing you want to do is win an election when things are about to go seriously pear shaped after you have been in power for years. We did that in 1992, and I suspect had we lost that one we would have been back in power in 1997 and still in power now. There are worse things than losing an election, there is winning one.

The big problem Gordon faces though is that election fever could well over take him if he does not quell it. he could look very stupid with all the media, and indeed Labour party speculation clamoring for one, and then not calling one. In short, he would become Chicken Gordon.

In politics, every silver lining has a cloud.

The Daily Mail has this, The Guardian has this, with this by Andrew Rawnsley, and this on comment is free on how vain it would be and this as a leader, the Times has this whilst the Telegraph has this.


Letters From A Tory said...

Not sure that Labour will have a smaller majority, with the recent results from local elections around the country where they have made big gains.

Anonymous said...

The only seat they made a gain with a huge swing, if I remember correctly was Worcester, and the Tory candidate got what was coming. It is no guide whatsoever.
I have always believed that GB is a power nut, and unless he had double figure poll leads continuously, he would not risk what he has waited 10 yrs for. That's why IMHO there will be no election. Gordon will want to wear out the sofas for a while longer.
I also suspect that the electorate will tire of Brown's antics.
There is a storm/hurricane brewing on the economic front , but far enough away that Brown "prudence" will "think" he can see it blow over.He wont , but that's Gordon for you.

Timothy (likes zebras) said...

But would the railways ever have been privatised if the Tories had lost in 1992?

More things would be affected than just the pendulum of political opinion, including the controversial career of Blair.

Would a Labour government ever have so enthusiastically embraced PFI, had it not been for that demoralising election defeat?

I've heard the point made that one reason the Tory party doesn't look like winning a general election is that they don't want to enough. The shadow front bench is far too busy with directorships, etc.

The reason they aren't desperate to turf out New Labour, is because New Labour is a party of the centre right, with some leftish window dressing and legacy policy.