Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Will there be an election this side of Christmas?

Somehow I doubt it. It has always seemed clear to me that Brown will go to the wire and not call an election till spring 2010. I still think that and events so far have not really been pushing him in a different direction.

Opinion polls show that there is a general mood of fed-upness with all the main parties. That is not a problem with the European elections as people can either stay at home (most always do) or vote for one of the smaller parties, notably UKIP or the BNP. Curiously the Greens are not benefiting from this disillusionment with the big boys.

Conservative canvassers self-righteously report that people out there want an election. Do they? I wonder. It all depends how you put the question. Do you think Brown should call an election in view of all these scandals might well get a yes. But what if you ask it differently: do you want Brown to call an election in which the same people with their hands in the sweet jar will be standing to consolidate their positions? You might get a very different answer.

Then there is the question of the House of Commons powers. It looks like the Speaker might well resign this afternoon, prodded by the Prime Minister, not because the House has asserted its rights and powers. Iain Dale thinks that he will then continue to act as Speaker until the election of a new one and nobody will mind. He may well be right but it will be a sad fizzing out of a so-called revolution.

That will leave the basic problem in place: Parliament has lost much of its legislative power to the EU and various quangos and its members have abandoned all attempts to hold the Government to account even when it is still within their powers to do so. What are the honourable members going to do about any of that?

Meanwhile Sky has published a poll that shows a third of voters seriously thinking of voting for a smaller party even in an early general election. One cannot rely on polls, of course, as people may well change their minds with an election campaign unfolding, but if these sort of results keep appearing, I suspect that Conservative call for an early election will lose some of its vehemence.


  1. Something that could force a General Election is if the Labour Party remove Brown as party leader. However, since the Labour Party will not do that then I think you are right in say that the Government will continue on as long as possible. In fact, I imagine the current Government will be in power for the next six years at the very least (if not longer). This is since regardless of who you vote for at the next General Election, we shall get the same type of leftist inclined Government (Conservative or Labour) that we already have.

  2. Perhaps if we were so bold as to ponder the conspiracy theories. Mr. Brown's dealings with Europe and more specifically the EU have been shoddy at the best. One cannot help but think that there might be some kind of deal for him to stay on as long as possible for the Treaty to pass - after which the Conservatives can do nothing and the United States of Europe is a fact (not that it has not been all along but the masses will finally know it as such as well).

    Like the German constitutional court said to Angela Merkel's government "Would it not have been more honest to just call it the United States of Europe?".

  3. Politics is not necessarily a conspiracy. Brown's dealings with the EU (not Europe) have been no shoddier than anybody else's. As far as Britain is concerned the treaty has passed and it is not really clear what the Conservatives can or will do. Why should there be a deal for him to stay? He wants to stay if for no other reason than to carry on with the scorched earth policy. If you think politicians need some kind of a deal to stay in what they think is power, then you should rethink everything you think you know.

  4. I can se many reasons for him being given a deal by th European colleagues. First I must say I was very surprised when I found, a year ago, that the Irish actually did vote the treaty down. I was dead sure that the EU would be meddling with the ballot boxes - I suppose conspiracy has not gone this far yet.

    But to continue, Brown could have been given a deal because now there is an issue of time. Brussels know this as do the Irish, the Germans and the Czechs that by the end of the year they will have been forced into passing it somehow - the Economist noted this as well. After this, however, the Conservaties will hold government and as such kill the treaty. If Brown were given a deal to stay on as long as possible - that is to say as long as the colleagues need to pass the treaty, then that sounds fairly plausible at least to my (somewhat deluded it seems) ears.

  5. But what on earth makes you think Brown would not have stayed to the end of his term anyway? Conspiracies do have to make some sense, you know. And no, they don't stuff ballot boxes. They don't need to. I know working the EU out is quite hard and boring but this is just silly.

  6. Because he is the worst PM Labour has ever seen possibly even Britain it is just so astonishing that he does not realise it himself. Perhaps the Nr 10 bubble is preventing him from doing so but still the incompetence of his premiership is staring at him in the face but he is just looking straight through it. Or his leadership might be challenged so that Labour as a political entity does not get obliterated come the next election. He is without integrity but he defies all common sense - this is why I think Brown would/will not stay on.