Is an '08 general election on the cards?

by Stephen Tall on June 25, 2007

‘Election set for 2008’ is how The Times today reports the handover of the Labour leadership from Blair & Prescott to Brown & Harman.

Even more authoritatively, bookmakers William Hill have slashed the odds on a general election being held in 2008 from 10/1 to 5/1, according to readaBet.com. (Though 2009 remains the punters’ favourite.)

Even if our soon-to-be-PM does go to the country in ’08, it will be a year too late according to Lib Dem leader, Ming Campbell:

“This has been the longest coronation in history. Neither Labour members nor the British public have chosen the new Prime Minister. He should seek a mandate immediately.”

His call has been echoed by Ming’s deputy, Vince Cable:

“The Liberal Democrats believe that such is the power of a modern prime minister that we have in effect a presidential system, and Gordon Brown should be willing to submit himself to an early general election to establish basic political legitimacy.”

While Vince is right that we do have a de facto presidential system, I’m not as convinced as he seems to be that Lib Dems should seek to re-inforce the notion. As Lib Dem MP Steve Webb commented last week, in the wake of the leaking of Mr Brown’s overtures to the Lib Dems:

“It’s true to say that Labour got nothing like a majority of the popular vote last time, but our electoral system did [give] them a mandate to govern, and they should get on with it.”

I think our party can find a few ways to put the time to good use.

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4 comments

If we were serious about wanting an immediate election then you’d think we’d have more than 100 candidates selected!

by Hywel Morgan on June 25, 2007 at 6:09 pm. Reply #

The interesting question is, if Brown goes in 08 will be delay bringing in the new constituency boundaries (suggested to worth 30 seats to the Tories). If he does go to the country asap as we and the Tories have called for, we can’t complain if it’s on the old boundaries. Still having only selected 100 candidates will seem like a stroke of genius on our part, as Tory PPCs squabble other seats.

by david on June 25, 2007 at 11:29 pm. Reply #

“The interesting question is, if Brown goes in 08 will be delay bringing in the new constituency boundaries (suggested to worth 30 seats to the Tories”

I think new boundaries are set to come into force tomorrow after the Privy Council approved them a couple of weeks ago. So any GE called after it should be fought on new boundaries.

by Andrea on June 26, 2007 at 7:28 am. Reply #

October 2007, before the current recession hits the PAYE class and Debt becomes unmanageable, leading to a Bricks and Mortar crash of -40%.
Inflation from the purse must be over 10% at the moment with the official figures lying at 2%. Food prices are rocketing at over 10% and few people are noticing.
Cheery or realistic- the shit is about to hit the fan and Brown can not risk it.

by Tory Lady on June 26, 2007 at 8:54 am. Reply #

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