Friday, October 05, 2007

Its down to Darling and Osborne

Predictions of an immediate election are now being downplayed, of course Gordon Brown had to see what impact the Conservative conference would have. He enjoyed a bounce after his, now it is the Cameron/Osborne bounce we are witnessing. With Osborne's tax cuts playing well in the marginals, and the newspapers showing a favourable disposition to the Conservatives for the first time in about 15 years, calling an election now would be madness for Brown.

A tentative prediction! Alastair Darling is to complete a spending review, within that inheritance tax will be cut and a policy on non-doms (non domicile earners) will be announced. The review will look at reducing public spending and so reducing tax, this will take the wind out of Conservative's sails and then Brown will call an election. Odds on for May 2008.

This may prove utterly wrong and Sunday will see Brown call an election, if he does it is highly risky and will give him three-four weeks to get himself back up the polls. The only reason he might is if he foresees an economic collapse; if that is imminent then he may well want to lose a snap election, let Cameron and Osborne take the credibility hit, and see what happens. But Brown is a man who seems to have had his eye on the job of PM for a long time, it is doubtful he will give it up easily.

2 comments:

Nina (one of your new students) said...

Hey Darren,

I think calling the election this week would be somewhat impulsive of Brown, like a response to the Tories' manly display of bravado.

Calling an election after the Tories have enjoyed such intense (and mostly free coverage) would be too risky and in the end it may even validate claims that Brown's ruling is not a legitimate one.

Why call an election when your adversaries are enjoying a bump in the polls?

Maybe a better response to the Tories would be not calling an election, showing David Cameron that he can moan,growl and make how many speeches he wants, but only the prime minister can call an election and that is certainly not him.

Darren G. Lilleker said...

Hi Nina
As you note, politics is all about the exercise and expression of power. Cameron demonstrates his power by saying 'bring it on'; Brown can say no, you can't make me.

I think if the Labour conference had been last in the cycle and Brown had had the chance to respond he could have then seen how the polls reacted and could have announced the election on the back of that, as it worked out Cameron and his team responded to all Labour's arguments so getting the last word. Thus we are denied the excitement of the spectacle of an election and the chance for us all to watch the communication, and try and work out what the strategist was taking when they thought it up.

Cheers, have a good weekend, see you Monday