Going early?

When he took power the opposition challenged Brown to seek his own mandate. It appears Brown is keeping it as a live option and for the opposition it may become a case of be careful what you wish for. It has been confirmed that a draft manifesto is to be ready for September. This follows the pre-Budget Treasury statement being brought forward from late November/early December to October, the new approach to the Queen’s speech and Brown telling backbench Labour MPs to use the summer break and after to get constituency organisations in shape. The latest polls have good news with Labour up to a 7% lead and Brown putting distance between him and Cameron. There are also two by-elections to test the waters. An early election would be before any wobbles in the housing market begin to pinch and also catch the opposition parties in the midst of their policy reviews. October/November 2007 and March 2008 are the two possible dates. Are the local parties ready for it?

  • me

    Can’t see it happening before may. In the US they want the troops out of Iraq before april 1st. If they get that, and Bush is defeated by congress, then this would give Brown the necessary leg up he needs. Despite the noises coming from Downing street, Brown is aligned with the democrats in the US.
    Polls are notoriously bad at predicting election outcomes. I’d wager May, one full year of Brown,depending on what happens between now and then. He could go early by November, but that is much too soon.
    Theres a lot of unease country wide. Immigration needs to be looked at seriously, Cameron is not a great opponent to Blair, anybody would think he was a leftie, going to dinners and all sorts with Blair and contributing the £4,800. Housing as you say, and ‘the long war’ as they call it now in the states, since we can’t call it Islamic terrorism any more.
    Hmmmm….. I’d wager £10 on May.
    Any takers.

  • Dewi

    Interesting for you though – pacts in FST, North and South Belfast need to be organised pretty quickly – on both sides.

  • me

    Y dewi.

  • Dewi

    “Y dewi”. – only three seats with any real chance of “changing sides”. One last throw for unionism in FST. Belfast South currently held by SDLP against the demographics – Belfast North rapidly turning nationalist but where the war record of Gery Kelly might be a barrier to futher Sinn fein vote increases ?

  • Alan

    Are any of the parties, including Labour, financially up to an early election ?

  • noel adams

    According to BBC the tory canidate in southall has registered his nomination as,david camerons conservitives. When was this new party set up

  • Dan

    Brown will go when he thinks he can win.
    At the moment he will be enjoying keeping the others guessing and forcing Cameron to make commitments earlier and spend money earlier than he wants to.

    There is a 1p cut in Income Tax scheduled for April 08. Which may help if he goes for May 08.

    My money is still June 09, move the local elections to the same date as the European elections, and let UKIP take some marginal Tory votes.

    International Bush is not going to withdraw Troops and congress can not force him so they will still be there in Jan 2009, but I bet the UK contingent is all home before the June.

    From a Norn Iron perspective it could be interesting on present trends Labour should lose seats, but Cameron will not have enough to get a majority. Suddenly the fact SF do not take there seats is important as it reduces 1 for 1 the number needed for a UK majority, which way SDLP, DUP etc vote may be less important unless they all agree to do the same and force concessions from either Brown or Cameron in favour of N.I. voting in different directions would just cancel out the effect.

  • Dewi

    Is there any discussions anongst the republican movement about ending Westminster abstentionism ?
    Seems a bit anachronistic.

  • Chris Donnelly

    FD

    An election now would mean us having going to the polls on the ‘old’ electoral boundaries (methinks- Morse, are you out there??) as the revision of local government wards has surely put paid to the ‘new’ constituency boundaries.

    In which case I don’t see much change at all across the north, except for McDonnell maybe losing out in Sth Belfast- only if the DUP can get their act together.

  • Dewi

    CD – Brown’s intent of lowering the voting age might make a difference in North Belfast…and I ask again is abstensionism for Westminster under review ?

  • Dan

    I am pretty sure abstentionism is not under review.

    In a very tight election i.e. Cameron gains 40 seats, 30 from Labour, 10 from Lib Dem, would leave Brown with a majority of 1, if SF do not turn up that becomes an effective majority of 6.

    At that tipping point it becomes interesting but 10 seats either way it is irrelevant.

    I can not see how they get round taking pledge of allegience to the Crown, at Westminster. However I am sure Martin and Gerry could come up with some logic if they really decided it was in their intrest, imagine DUP and SF jointly keeping Brown in power!