29 September 2007

Surely the election is effectively called, whatever Brown thinks.

Labour have done nothing to dampen the heightened speculation for an election. I think it would be virtually impossible now for Brown to back away from calling one without looking like he has 'bottled it'. If Brown decides against now, he will look like he has dithered and the comparisons with Callaghan will be irresistible.

Brown has an unenviable choice, but whatever reservations he...
has about the November weather and dark nights or the clash with halloween, it pales into insignificance compared to the possibility of looking like he has 'missed his best chance'. The omens for a successful 2008 or 2009 election look ominous with growing trade union unrest and global recession looming. Also how radical can a government be with only 18 months to show fruit from their policies. I don't really see how Brown can do anything but call a snap election if he wants to see a comfortable victory.

I admit I was not originally a fan of Gordon Brown and I was wrong when I claimed he couldn't do well in the polls, but surely he cannot prove me wrong by winning in 2008 or 2009? He has let the media call this election - now he has to go for it.


  1. Did you see the politics show this Sunday? The guy from something like the association of returning officers pointing out that the register is currently being done and the new one won't be in place until December, effectively disenfranchising more than 1 million if the election is called before then.

    Could you make your mind up - did Gordon start this or the media?

  2. Should the returning officers association determine when we can have elections?

  3. Of course they shouldn't. But then neither should the PM. Surely fixed-terms are far more sensible and fairer?

    If GB spent a whole day or two poring over polls that is a whole day he could have spent trying to think of ways to eradicate child poverty or something. Just how much time has been wasted in the last month on this topic?

  4. Skuds: Fixed terms can be gotten around - I refer you to this post about the early German election last year despite their constitution forbidding it.

    As for the PM calling elections - ironically Gordon has hinted he wants this power taken away...just not yet ;o). I never heard the Tories moan about this before, it is just another tactic to de-legitimise the election. Of course a government is going to call one when propitious for them. I think there is an argument that having an election now is a good thing because it will allow Gordon time to develop policy. At the moment the electorate are having to judge a government that only has 18 months to prove itself.

  5. Neil, I am agreed on fixed terms.

    Again, as you say, you can't prevent a government calling an early election, via vote-of-no-confidence and other trickery.

    This conflict is easily fixed.

    Let's say we agree on a four-year fixed term. If a government calls an election after two-and-a-half years, then it should only be re-elected for one-and-a-half years.

    A bit like when Nixon pissed off, Gerald Ford served out the last couple of years and in 1976 their Presidential elections got back into sync.

    OK so?

  6. Yeah that is a good solution. Cannot argue with that.