- About David Cameron’s Speech to Conference, 3rd Oct, 2007
- Watch David Cameron’s Speech here
- Opinion Poll Watch – updated
Comment at end
5th October, 2007
POSTAL STRIKE – ANOTHER ‘GET OUT’ CARD?
Addendum to the below – the postal strike has handed Brown yet another excuse to back off from a November election. The strike could well jeopardise postal vote delivery, not to mention the parties’ election leaflets themselves, and especially to those who’re not yet on the register. And, of course, the government – the LABOUR government – is NOT interfering with the dispute; not getting involved. Take note, Old Labourites and TUC members. This is YOUR man, not the hated Blair.
And remember, Mr GB/PM, it’s not quite so easy to ‘spin’ your way out of tricky situations with all of us bloggers online, watching your every move, or lack of.
Fun in the hot seat, is it not?
4th October, 2007
NO ELECTION … YET
OK – I’m going to put my head on the line here. Considering I thought months ago that Brown would call a November election, and wrote it in here for 1st or 8th November, I have now changed my mind.
The election’s off, in my humble opinion.
Not because Cameron’s frightened him. Brown would still win, even if Cameron suddenly shows us something we haven’t yet seen. Simply because it is NOT WORTH THE RISK of returning with a similar number of seats, or less, or heaven forfend, a hung parliament.
Any of those three scenarios will mean that Brown has put himself, for no good reason, into the same situation that Blair was in since before 2005 – (possibly earlier with the off-stage murmurers.) Dead in the water. Why risk that? Supporters of such as Miliband (and others) would huddle in furtive competition for the eventual crown.
RISKING CIVIL WAR AMONGST THE BROTHERS
And some would ask – “What?! We thought Gordon had all the answers now that Tony’d gone”. And if some in Labour started really stirring it – (no Tony won’t come back, but he has sympathisers still within Brown’s Labour) – there could be civil war within the ranks.
What a legacy for Brown, after such a smooth and blameless handover from Blair, and the former PM gracefully departing the scene in political silence.
And, knowing how painful it all was on a personal level for Blair, and feeling, quite rightly that Labour got away with patricide once without imploding, Brown will NOT take the risk.
So, that’s it, folks. Back to thinking about Christmas, without worrying about struggling out to vote on a wet, cold November evening.
You might wonder how Brown can back out gracefully after failing to stamp on the rumours before now. EASY!
The electoral commission has warned government that there are possibly as many as a million voters who have moved since the last election, and whose names are registered nowhere.
Many, if not most of those will be the transient population, who, if they vote at all, vote Labour. And with the usual problems that Labour has in getting its vote out at the best of times, Brown is unlikely to risk it.
BROWN’S GET OUT OF JAIL CARD
Yes, the man of strategic and financial calculation has a ‘get-out-of-jail’ card.
I can almost hear him now:
“Although I realise there has been some talk about an upcoming election I feel the time is right to explain that given that we have a majority from the last election, only two and a half years ago, and that there are registered voters issues still to be resolved by the electoral commission, it is right that we leave the election till a later time”.
… or something. Did I sound like him? I could actually hear his low, monotonous, reassuring tones as I tapped away. And oh how I wish I couldn’t.
I may be wrong, and he may announce next week when parliament returns that it is on 1st/8th November.
Then there will be events with which to deal over the next three or four weeks, and some sleepless nights, no doubt.
And if he actually LOSES – seems unlikely now – but not necessarily so if the Tories are determined to get their vote out – Brown will go down in history as one of the shortest-serving prime ministers EVER!
I DID say in my original prediction that a November election would only be called if Labour had been consistently 10 – 12% ahead of the Tories. “Consistent” means at least a few months of opinion polls. And although Labour recently hit 10% ahead, that still makes it an average of only 8% since Blair left. So, I’m not really saying anything all that different from my earlier contention.
Apart from that – the electorate can’t be bothered voting AGAIN. And so the turnout would be abysmally low.
For all those reasons, and a few more I could find, if I cared that much, BROWN WILL NOT GO TO THE COUNTRY.
It’s a gamble – and we know what the son of the manse thinks of gambling.
So that’s that, then.
(I’ll eat my words next week if he does call it. But I have to say I am becoming cheesed off with all the electoral figure crunching professionals fence-sitting. And nobody pays me for getting it right, or wrong.)
3rd October, 2007
David Cameron has just completed his speech to conference. Go here to read my thoughts on his speech and on Brown’s election plans.
Melanie Phillips, a writer I often quote here, though I am not ENTIRELY with her politically, seems to agree largely with my thoughts. And she points to a colleague on her paper who says the same. You’ll have to go to Ms Phillips’ article to find that link, as I will not publicise a paper whose coverage is so blatantly, discriminatorily and wrongly anti-Blair.
2nd October, 2007
NOT AN OCTOBER ELECTION
Since GB/PM hasn’t called it today – too busy in Iraq saying we “are proud of our troops” – original, eh – we’ll have to wait until NEXT Tuesday to see if it’ll be 1st November or the week following.
If he wanted to avoid being accused by the Tories of throwing a publicity stunt – as if he would – why didn’t GB/PM wait until the end of this week to fly out to Iraq? After the conference season he couldn’t then be fairly accused of trying to upstage anyone.
GLOSS COMING OFF THE NUMBERS MAN?
As it is, I don’t think he’s done himself any favours. His position is not helped by the distortion of the numbers regarding troop withdrawal. We KNEW about 500 at least a month ago, and 350 of them are already home. So I make it 650 still to come, or just 500 who didn’t know that yesterday.
Interesting how a former chancellor plays with numbers. Double counting, double bluff!
1st October, 2007
ELECTION – OR NOT?
Unless GB/PM (my apologies … I have to shorten the description of our dear leader in the same way that I swallow cod liver oil quickly) tells us tomorrow – Tuesday 2nd October – that we are having an election in 3 weeks time, it’s all on the back burner. Well, for a few days anyway.
Advice is flowing freely, of course. Latest being from the Centre for Economics and Business Research. They say that Brown should call an election in the next few weeks before the U.K. economy slumps.
According to their statistics, growth will ease to 1.4 percent next year, the lowest since 1992, from about 2.7 percent this year. So says Mark Pragnell, managing director of the London-based economic consultant. The slowdown will hurt the Labour government’s record for managing a crisis-free economy, he said.
“We’re going to go through a stagnant phase,” Pragnell said. “We’re going to see consumers not being able to get the mortgage they expect. That’s going to feed through to the economy. If Gordon Brown wants to win the next election, he has to call it before Christmas.” “For the first time in this Labour administration the economy is going to have a negative impact on politics.” Pragnell said in an interview in London today. “The economy is weakening. If he wants to move he’s got to do it now.”
So, it’s the economy,
Not that I like to brag or anything, but I picked out the 1st (or 8th November) as the likely date Brown would call an election AGES ago. Apart from the economic outlook, Mr “Different” GB/PM also wants us to note that change from Blair (May, May, June elections). No sunny summer elections for GB. No new dawns. A winter’s day of gloom for Brown, so we all remember the serious and important day we had to struggle through the rain to vote for our financial genius and our security.
That would be before it all goes pear-shaped?
A note of caution: If David Cameron really CAN hold his party together this week at conference, all bets are off. Just as Cameron needs a swing of 10% plus just to get a majority of 1 in the Commons, Brown needs a similar majority to ensure he is not sharing power with the Lib Dems. Now he may be ‘inclusivity personified’ – but fancy ending 10 years of complete control, two and a half years before he needed to, just to be forced into coalition!
And if the electoral commission continues to say that they have not yet got the electoral register ready – and one million people are still disenfranchised – well, what WILL GB do?
Don’t like to sound cynical here – it’s not in my nature – but, that all depends on who and where are the missing million.
They can have my vote anyway, if that helps, since I’m in the “none of the above” category, for the FIRST time ever.
AND another thing … there are only a few seats which need to be won to swing the whole result, mainly in the south of England. So if you live in or around Kent, you might well get a phone call from a polling organisation in the next few days, if you haven’t already had one. Now make sure you tell them the truth now!
Read whole article here