Monday, September 15, 2008

Could February and October 2009 be like 1974 in reverse?

Whilst we all get excited about a rumbling coup against Brown, we all ought to take a step back and pause for thought on it all. After all, based on Gordon Brown's previous record and character, it's very unlikely that he will step down. I accept that I could be wrong on that, but reading biopgraphies of the guy suggests that he will put his head in the sand and fight to cling on to the bitter end as I have posted about before.

Added to this, the domains labour2010.org, .com etc have already been registered by Dave Briggs, a webby type consultant linked quite heavily to the civil service and public sector. Dave has told me that he is planning a "campaign trail following" type blog and that there is nothing more to it than that, but I'm still naturally suspcious.

However, the question is, what would happen if the Labour Party did force Brown out? After all, it is going to be at least the end of October before they could feasibly have a new leader (or the same leader for that matter if he stood again). If a new leader did emerge there would inevitably be calls for a General Election too.

The problem is there would not be the scope for an election this year. It would be well into November (not to mention the Glenrothes by-election at the end of October) and become unfeasible because of the weather and nights drawing in. That would then push us into 2009 and February at the earliest. The last time that happened the incumbent Tories lost to a Labour minority Government.

So, playing the "what if" game for a moment. Let's say there is a leadership election and lets say Brown loses. That would most likely mean a proto-campaign before the real campaign between November and Feburary. If history really does repeat itself then could the incumbent lose, resulting in another election later in the year to reaffirm the February result?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...
15 Sep 2008 11:21:00  

So basically the whole thrust of your argument is that if you ever hold and election in February the incumbant will narrowly be beaten and a second election will be needed later on in the year?

Since, apart from the possibility of a Febraury election, 1974 and 2009 won't be remotely similar circumstances isn't that a bit of a stretch?

dizzy said...
15 Sep 2008 11:36:00  

errr which bit of "what if?" and the use of "could" and "?" did you miss in order to analyse that I was making an argument rather than just musing on possibilities?

Newmania said...
15 Sep 2008 12:12:00  

, what would happen if the Labour Party did force Brown out?

This is the question because answering it is also answering whether it is likely to happen. One thing I would like to know is whether it would in fact be possible to continue in government with yet another period of 'setting out a vision'.

If not then what good can a new leader possibly do, is there enough time , could the Party agre onan electorally plausible programme anyway?

I see it this way. For the next election they are far better sticking with Brown , arguing the case for the last ten years .
For the long term there has to be an open discussion of what Labour is to be in the 21st century and now is the time to start it .

Phil C said...
15 Sep 2008 23:46:00  

I don't see why you can't have a general election in the winter. I can understand that a Prime Minister might not choose to have one if it's in his control, but it might not be.

The Labour party rules mean that Brown is very unlikely to be challenged in an election (unless he does a John Major). The likeliest scenario is that the rumbling coup will eventually force him to resign. In which case the labour party rules would allow the Cabinet to appoint a new interim leader. If it is obvious that the public mood won't stand for two unelected prime ministers in one term then we could have an election sooner rather than later. Glenrothes isn't an issue as if there's going to be a GE, then there wouldn't be a BE (although I'm not sure if you can cancel one once the writ has been moved).

Isn't this fun?


 

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