05 November 2009

Shock horror! The Tories need Brown

If you think Europe is Cameron’s biggest headache, think again.  What concerns the Tory party even more is the keeping Brown in power.

Over at The Spectator, James Forsyth argues that the expenses scandal has ‘killed leadership speculation’ but now this is being resolved Labour MPs are focusing on the future:

Electoral reality is now catching up with them. One well-connected figure in this wing of the party says that the prospect of knocking on a door and having to explain why people should vote for five more years of Prime Minister Brown is ‘terrifying, chilling’. They know there is no answer to the Tories’ planned closing argument: do you want five more years of Brown?

The Labour leadership issue distils into two questions: what mechanism would depose him, and who would replace him? The view is that one way to force Brown out would be for departing MPs to do one last service to the party and deliver enough names in the New Year to make Brown’s position untenable.

On the other hand, the Tories are dependent on Brown staying:

The Conservatives, to a man, know that they need Brown to stay. His departure is the single biggest risk factor in the Tory game-plan. Glasses are raised to him in Westminster bars. He is called a ‘treasure’ and ‘our greatest asset’. Without Mr Brown the Tories would, as one shadow cabinet member puts it, ‘be back in hung parliament territory’

What a weak position for the Tory party to be in less than six months from an election.  They know that Cameron has failed to ‘seal the deal’ and without Brown they could well be denied a majority at the election.

All it needs is for Labour MPs to focus on what has to be done.

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