Monday, November 17, 2008

An Argument for an Early Election

There has been much chatter about at early election in recent weeks. I've dismissed the very idea, but I have just heard something on Sky News which has made me think again. The CBI has just issued a report predicting that unemployment will reach 3 million by the beginning of 2010. Can you really imagine a Labour government - a Labour government! - going into an election campaign with 3 million unemployed? I can imagine the Tory posters now...

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think Brown will go in May 09. The run-up will be lots of tax giveaways and "announcements" of "new" spends on hospitals, schools, etc, all of which will turn out on close inspection to have either already been announced or else just nonsense.

I suspect also there will be some sort of "announcement" of total withdrawal from Iraq, to please the Muslim voter. This will take place in late March 09.

strapworld said...

I, as I have mentioned, believe that it will be over a weekend in December/January (because of the dark nights and to ensure more of his dedicated labour supporters get to the voting booths!)

It was because I believe unemployment will soar way beyond the Conservative 3 million that he will not wait.

Plus, of course, Charlie Whelan, Derek Draper, Alistair and Mandy - They are almost ready NOW.

A massive giveaway budget (Like Reggie Maudling! remember him?) and a quick election.He will be on a winner.

Unless Cameron can get his big beasts back!

Frankly, iain, I am quite surprised at this. I did consider you quite politically astute. IF Cameron and his team are of the same opinion as yourselves. Then they deserve everything they may get.

I would be getting my spies out and checking what billboards have been booked - what printers have been booked - the usual checks and balances to alert you to moves towards an election.

brian in the tamar valley said...

Iain, I just can't see Brown going to the country early. At the moment with a good working majority he has enough problems getting contentious legislation through (think '42 days' as an example). So unless the polls do something absolutely remarkable why risk an election with a much reduced majority? The other thing is that he is always talking about just "getting on with the job" - the swing voters will be very unhappy with someone who reckons he is not only saving the Country but is saving the World getting diverted into an election campaign at this critical time. There will be plenty of cynicism to Brown's disadvantage.

No Brown will hang in there as long as possible in the hope that the economic tide will start to turn before he confronts the electorate.

Anonymous said...

Brown will simply announce that unemployment has never been lower, and that it is a fraction of what it was in 1997. Then he will borrow money to give all the unemployed a one-off payment (bribe) of £400 to help them with their fuel bills while they are sitting at home doing nothing. Cameron and co will say nothing, and Labout will win.

Raedwald said...

If Labour MPs think they have a better chance of keeping their seats now than in 2010, and Brown can use tax cuts before Christmas to win a margin in the polls, then a Winter election is very much on the cards, before, as you say, the news gets worse.

My fear is that if Cameron and Osborne stick to their line on no tax cuts - and thankfully even now it's changing slightly to no unfunded tax cuts - they'll lose, and lumber us with Brown until 2013.

Nick Drew has already pointed out labour's 'deck clearing' over the past few weeks. Brown may be a ditherer, but Campbell and that corrupt villain from Europe will put steel in his spine.

Anonymous said...

The G20 meets in London in April. Gordon can pose as world economic leader and also pose next to Obama.

It is quite clear that if there is to be an early election, then it will be held shortly after this.

This next G20 summit that Gordon will have full control of, is perfectly timed to give Gordon a pre election boost and he will get a boost, you can be sure of that.

MAY 2009.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he will decide to 'cut and run' - even if he is, say, 4% points behind in the polls. Labour policies on gerrymandering the boundaries give them some advantage, and he think a 'hung parliament' would be better than delivering a landslide to the Tories.

But after the last 'election that was not', I think it would have to be delivered as a surprise. Maybe if the polls look okay in March he will shock us in April ?

Certainly the Tories should be on a war footing straight after Xmas - the General Election could come at any time..

Anonymous said...

Just 3 million? The CBI live in cloud cucckoo land.

But, I've said it before and I'll say it again. You will never again get the chance to vote on who governs you.

Tory Boy said...

Iain, you're absolutely right. Next year, GDP is forecast to contract by 2%, unemployment to reach potentially 3.0m in 2010. This is not just the CBI saying this; other forecasters are now moving their numbers into the same area.
Gideon and Dave should beware this. Brown now has the bottle (through backbone injected by Mandelson and Campbell) to go for this.

Richard Edwards said...

He's going to play Santa. A nice little tax cut for 'hard working decent families' and then a snap election in January/February.

He is not going to wait until spring or until 2010. The economy will be truly stuffed by then. Its going to be fairly hairy. (Think I am wrong read the IMF report on recessions. Those that come after banking crises are the worst)

We'd do well to remember that John Major won an election against the odds in the a recession.

The signs are all there.

AloneMan said...

My money's on spring '09 too. Everything Brown is currently doing, imcluding the facade of the G20 summit at the weekend and all the talk of tax cuts, is geared to it.

Unknown said...

I can see him going to the country early. I dont believe it's a cast-iron certaintity but it must surely be in Brown's mind as a possibility.

Ed said...

He will time it so that the anger over Baby P will have subsided and tax credit recipients will be pleased as punch about the increases in their income but before unemployment reaches critical mass.

May 2009 is my guess. Wake up Tories.

Richard Edwards said...

Raedwald - you want to win this election? Its one to loose surely? Frankly now is not the time to be taking over. Its a bed of nails. Why do we want the thankless job of cleaning up Brown's mess which is going to get even worse? I want Labour to be utterly discredited when they leave. So a crippling recession, a nice low majority which gets chipped away by by-elections and a fractious bunch of backbenchers should do the trick. Bring it on....

Anonymous said...

Sure, they'll be closely monitoring the polls, but I think they'll have to bottle it in the end. They only squeaked home in 2005, because of the strong Tory rally in England.

Unless, of course, Mandy and co can convince Gordo to cut short his time at No10, go knowingly into a lost election and hand the disaster to come to the Tories, helping save Labour for another day.

Do you really think Gordo will sacrifice another 18 months 'running the world' to help save Labour from another economic meltdown?

Anonymous said...

I heard a hint of Kinnock when I read your post Iain!

only in the repetition of "Labour government" !

thought I think his speech was "a Labour Council...A LABOUR Council..."

Windsor Tripehound said...

O/T, but on Today this morning Mandelson said that the global credit crunch was not caused by the government. "Nothing to do with us, guv'ner!"

You will be ever so surprised to learn that hard-nosed interviewer Naughty failed to pick him up on this.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking we might get an early election. If we weren't on our way into winter, we'd be having an election now - Labour's story would be... the immediate bank crisis is over, we need a new mandate so that we can spend the next few years sorting the economy out.

That said, the recession seems to be biting much sooner than expected (look at the job loss stories). It might now be too bad by the spring (the earliest we could now have an election) for Brown to risk it.

Raedwald said...

Rohan - I'm not interested in party games to favour the Tories at the expense of the British people; I want that Labour scum out of office now and for ever. Ayn Rand presciently drew a line between Welfarism and Totalitarianism, and the daily comments on Iain's blog are in no doubt that that's what continued Labourism will bring. Despite the myopia of Tom Harris and other well-meaning zealots.

The Tories are the lesser of two evils. If Cameron gave policy credence to Hannan and Carswell's 'Plan' they may even make a good government. Cameron may not be the small-State Tory I'd like him to be, but he'll do for now.

Anonymous said...

I suspect the reason Brown did not go for the 2007 snap election was that although he thought he would win , it would be with a reduced majority, and his hubris just would not allow that possibility. Since then he's had a reality check, and he sees an early election as his only chance to get a win, albeit with a reduced majority. This time he's got nothing to lose.

There's just too much going on, with the return of Ali and Mandy and maybe even Blunkett and the total U turn on tax cuts and other unpopular policies, to ignore the strong probability of a May 2008 election. They may even call it early to ensure the return of maximum postal votes.

Anonymous said...

Iain, would be interesting to get your take on this article detailing how USSR propaganda is being used to cover up the extent of the financial crisis in Rusiia, and the whole plethora of recent anouncements from HMG saying we've never been happier and all is well. It's quite remarkable if you read it.

Anonymous said...

With the £ on the slide, Nu Lab types are now openly suggesting this is the best time enter the Euro zone. Brown would love to do this after an election, not before. So he'll call an election at the earliest, especially now the Tories seem to have lost it a bit. My guess is very early next year, as we only have 6 weeks to the end of the year. Won't guarantee a Labour victory though, as people are that fed up. My guess is Cameron would get a very narrow majority (less than 10 even) then get a bigger majority after one term.

Anonymous said...

If an early election is called, then I would be delighted - as long as we can trust Mr Cameron to put the Lisbon Treaty to a referendum.

The Europrats will be in a state of panic, I suspect.

Anonymous said...

An argument against an early election - the Lisbon Treaty. As long as the Lisbon Treaty is not fully ratified and the Tories are offering a referendum whilst still in that state, Gordon Brown simply will not go to the country. He won't be allowed to jeopardise the Lisbon Treaty. As long as it's still not fully ratified, he won't be allowed to call an election and that's the bottom line.

Man in a Shed said...

Labour having been running a general election campaign for a few months now. Every unpopular policy is getting ditched and they are just about to bribe swing voters with massive loans taken out in everyone else's name.

They have no hope of hiding the scale of the economic disater they are creating beyond Summer 2009 - even with the BBC's help.

They have to go soon.

If Brown had any integrity he would go to the country now - asking if people wanted to be put in debt for a generation to pay for his plan.

But as we all know he's just shameless.

Anonymous said...

It'd be great but very high risk for the bottler.

Are there legitimate concerns to call into question Andy Coulson not managing the media message?

All very well mockingly claiming that the 'dark prince' has influenced a 'biassed' media but that's quite a passive analysis of the narrative. I certainly think the troops have been shaken by recent events and that they've taken a knock but bygones.

It is slightly upsetting that there doesn't appear to be better criticism of this stoopid handout and whilst they may have backed themselves into a good corner - the meeja have moved to a 24 hour news cycle not headline essays by Sir John. Hmm... should get some of the Yankee spads over for technical skills perhaps.

Good luck at the 6th form - bright young things - make you bloody sick!

Anonymous said...

Yep, early election without a doubt. EarLy January, perhaps, before the post Christmas, mass rundundancy notices take effect.

My government minister MP has already begun canvassing for the election.

Bring it on, Broon, we've been waiting for this for what feels like forever.

Mulligan said...

Good point

I'd expect that Gordo's best friends in Brussels and beyond would be advising him not to do anything before they've had a chance to bribe the Irish into line over Lisbon

Nick Drew said...

As Raedwald @11:52 says, we've pointed out the early-warning indicators

certainly it may just be contingency planning; but it's war nonetheless & it keeps all their options open

never underestimate the power of initiative in the hands of government: especially in the hands of malign and creative operators like Mandy

all the more so when the strategy includes scorched earth !

Anonymous said...

Labour isn't working...

Now, where have i heard that before?

Anonymous said...

Windsor T

"You will be ever so surprised to learn that hard-nosed interviewer Naughty failed to pick him up on this".

Just where did you get that impression that Naughty ex-Guardian political reporter and Aberdeen Press and Journal journalist who ever was Labour supporter doing anything silly like critically questioning Mandy?
Even Scots tell me Naughty likes fellow Scott Brown, admires Gordo and him doing anything otherwise
is like a vegetarian walking into an Angus Steak House!

JPT said...

3 million?
They'll cook the books.
They always do.

bryboy said...

This PM will not go for an early election. He will cling onto the bitter end and then try and find an excuse not to call an election at all.

It won't matter when he calls an election because he will lose. Even considering the vast army he has created who depend on NoLab for their income the rest of the country are disgusted by his behaviour.

He would lead us to Civil War before leaving Downing Street.

Oliver Drew said...

I have to admit that I had not put together the happenings of recent weeks/months but it does make a lot of sense.

I can't believe that Brown would allow this to go on again like he did last time, only to stop. Therefore I would assume we will know sooner rather than later if we are to get an election or not.

Personally I would love an election now - I think that it is long overdue.

Problem: The Conservatives seem to have good ideas but they are allowing themselves to be shouted down by the government. I mean, surely borrowing to fund tax cuts is nuts, so why aren't we hearing this more often and pushed harder? (Note: This has started happening over the weekend).

There is nothing wrong with the Conservatives getting into "election mode" now, even if we don't have one...besides, the economy is only going to get worse so either way, they can't lose with that strategy (though I would be happy from my own point of view to see the economy improve, it is not going to happen).

Anonymous said...

Whenever it is, please can no-one ask me to deliver any leaflets.

Anonymous said...

During a recession advertising spending is one of the first casualties.

Calling an early election will provide a useful boost to the economy when it most needs it, and is a great excuse for a pre-election tax cut - the only tax cuts we are likely to see from this greedy government.

John Pickworth said...

I'm inclined to believe Brown will call a later election...

... except, Mandelson came back from Europe a year early. Now why did he do that? That's a bit of a puzzle.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Labour might take tips from the right on how to win an election when unemployment is pushing 3mil. God knows the Right have enough practice.

Anonymous said...

"I can imagine the Tory posters now.."

At last! After all these years! Labour's FINALLY as bad as the Tories!

Anonymous said...

Unemployment is already 50% higher than 3 million.

There are 1.8 million on the dole and 2.7 million on incapacity benefit, giving a total of 4.5 million.

Word verification "woodu"? Sorry Iain, but I wouldn't....

Anonymous said...

Although it's bound to be a bit of a risk, Spring or early Summer of 2009 is looking far better for Broon than 2010. The worst of the recession probably won't have bitten by then, and people might even still have that nice warm feeling that will come from these tax cuts.

Bearing in mind Labour don't need the same opinion poll figures that the Tories do to achieve a majority, I'd say it's 50/50 for an election next year, if someone with a backbone bundles him in a car and drives him to the palace!

Paddy Briggs said...

GO FOR IT GORDON !

Clueless Tories lead down to 3% !

A nice little chat off the record with Nick and Vince (Home Sec and Chancellor jobs be alright boys?)

Off we go for a good social liberal administration. Worth a try!If only to infuriate Dale's favourite bloggers...

Anonymous said...

Surprised by all the presumably "more knowledgable" political chatterers commenting here who think it will be in Jan 09. No general election would ever be called by Nulab in winter, for the long-running (and still true) simple reason that Labour voters tend to have fewer cars per household and won't go out if it's cold, nasty, snowing, etc to vote in the dark evenings. Labour has always (and still does in for example local election and by-election statistics) done better on warm spring and summer days. They would be bonkers to go in mid-winter.

Mandleson was brought back to run an 8-10 month campaign for re-election. He needs at least that much time.

It will be May 09.

Prepare!