Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Poll: Should Brown call snap election?

I must say I'm genuinely torn on this one. The Tories argue that Gordon Brown, or whoever else takes over as Labour leader, should call an immediate general election to give themselves a separate mandate from Tony Blair. Since we appear to live in an increasingly presidential system, there is some force to their argument.

Against that, part of me thinks Labour won in 2005 in spite of, not because of Mr Bliar, and that therefore it's the party as a whole which has the mandate to govern for a full parliamentary term.

Anyway, this seems like one to leave to you, the readers, partly to help me settle an argument in my own head and partly to demonstrate that, thanks to www.pollhost.com I can now introduce polling functionality onto this blog.

I hope visitors will make use of it, as it's a feature I intend to do much more with in the New Year.

Should there be a General Election if and when Tony Blair steps down as Prime Minister
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Richard Bailey said...

The issue of whether there should be an election is rather irrelevant, don't you think.

The decision will be taken on the basis of whether Brown thinks he can win it and which course of action gives him most time at the top.

I always thought he would call a snap election in order to stop Cameron from building momentum.

However, I am now inclined to believe that Brown's terror of losing, and becoming the shortest lived PM of all time, will drive him to wait until 2010. He is so risk averse that he just won't take that sort of gamble against Cameron.

He will believe that as PM for 3 years he can build the reputation he needs to destroy Cameron later.

The Tories ploy of course, is to corner him and to try to get every one in the media to hound him for an answer, so as to make him look weak and lacking in confidence.

The Tories believe that they can create a public clamour for an election after Blair goes and that either Brown denies them and looks like he's running scared, or he calls an election, and loses.

Either way the Tories win!! Ironically, even by running this little poll, you are starting to fan the flames of that process. I bet the majority say "Yes"!!!

This is the first properly clever bit of political manoevering that Cameron has employed. Well done him!

David Gladwin said...

I agree that an early election would give voters the chance to approve or reject Gordon Brown, and that if he managed to win it, then it would be great for him.

But personally, I think he won't appeal to the voting public any more than he appeals to me.

So I hope he does it.

Raymond Lesley said...

Your poll should have a third option: "Let the Labour party decide". That's my vote.

It's all tactics, and not really the public's choice, IMHO.

Croydonian said...

I do not think anyone could hope to take a position on this that was not largely informed by their own prejudices. I would be delighted at the prospect of an election, but I cannot imagine that Brown fancies the ignominy of trumping Canning as the shortest serving Prime Minister ever. So count on at least 120 days of office prior to any election....

Ellee said...

I would like to think so, but Brown will be too much of a coward. Still, no point in putting it off, he'll be out the door sooner or later.

Have a very merry Xmas, btw.

Paul Burgin said...

But was Major a coward in not calling an election immediately after Maggie resigned? I don't see the point in calling a general election a.s.a.p just to suit the Conservatives. It's what the public wants that matters!

Anonymous said...

It is Cameron, not Gordon Brown, who will be most 'scared' about the timing of the next general election.

His manoevering for a snap election is indeed the cleverest thing he has done - and it will make or break his political career.

Cameron's lack of new ideas, his dubious toff background and his inability to provide anything but 'enviro-new-labour in blue' (sending half his party to UKIP in the process) will gradually bring him down - Cameron will not last until 2009. Brown knows this.

If Brown is lucky enough to have a 'honeymoon period' when he comes to power, he should be able to withstand tory calls for a snap election. So it is not implausible that while team Blair are planning their farewell tour, team Brown are adding the final touches to a coronation campaign that will knock the turbine right off Cameron's roof.