09 April 2009

A 2009 election: Steve Richards misses two vital points

Steve Richards has an article in the New Statesman giving the reasons why Brown may well call an election this year.  He concludes:

I think the dilemma for Brown is that, if he goes on to the bitter end, unlike Major, he is doomed to lose; and yet it is quite hard to envisage a period this year when the poll ratings would be remotely safe enough for him to call an election. Nonetheless, I suspect if Labour makes it to the mid-thirties it would be in Brown’s interests to go for it. There would be many ironies to consider, as he would be further behind in the polls than he was when he postponed the election in 2007. But he would have served as PM for much longer, and so defeat this autumn would not be as humiliating as it would have been after only a few months in office.

Maybe these hints of spring are making fools of us all. For the first time, however, I can see the case, from Brown’s perspective, for going to the country this year – even if Labour is lagging behind in the polls.

There is little that I can disagree with, having argued previously that Brown will not wait until June 2010. However, Richards fails to consider two vital points that I have also discussed.  Firstly, Brown has got to survive beyond this June, and secondly, Labour may well consider a new leader to take them into the election.

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