Thursday, September 14, 2006

Will the next Prime Minister be Gordon Brown?

It is the generally agreed view of nearly everyone in the political world that Gordon Brown is a 'done deal' to take over from Tony Blair.

I'm going on the record here and saying that I don't think he will get it.

Who would have doubted, in 1989, that the next tory leader was going to be Michael Hestletine? - Who would have believed, in 1997 and again in 2001, that the next Tory leader wasn't going to be Ken Clarke?

For those who can remember back that far, who would have questioned that the man to replace Harold Wilson was Roy Jenkins?

Even Mrs Thatcher was a rank outsider, upsetting the expected coronation of Whitelaw in 1975.

The point is the favoured candidate almost never gets elected, the only case that comes to mind was Anthony Eden eventually taking over from Winston Churchill and we all know how that ended up.

My money is on education secretary Alan Johnson sneaking through the middle as Labour members peer over the precipice and see a Gordon Brown led party being an electoral disaster and decide they want a new face, not another old one.


Ellee said...

Let's hope he does for the Tories sake, his unpopularity could be great news for us.

Chris said...

Before you get too carried away Gordon is less 'unpopular' than you might believe, especially with Labour voters like me who have been straying to other parties like Ukip and Lib Dem.

Gordon will win and he will then hopefully start adopting some proper Labour values -like not going to war every 5 minutes- that i and many thousands of others can support again.

Elephunt said...

I think you're wrong on this one Marcus.I don't know anyone within the party who feels that Johnson cuts the mustard as leader, he won't get the union vote and certainly won't get the members votes.Brown isn't thought of as Labour's 'Hestletine' and many of us thought Blair should have done two terms then handed over. I think Brown will win comfortably.

Barrie Wood said...

Gordon may well be seen to be a 'change in government' without voting out the incumbent governing party, in the same way Major was seen as a break from the then hated Thatcher.

Further, Gordon may be dour, might have dreamt up a fiendishly complex tax regime, but some of our poorest people have benefitted from his economic stewardship.

Gordon is a political heavyweight whilst Cameron has a Blarite persona - trying to be all things to all people, whilst being light on specifics.

And, of course, this week is a showcase for a Ming-led Lib Dems.Only last week a MORI poll for the 'Sunday Times' indicated that Campbell is comfortably the most trusted party leader ahead of Cameron, Blair and Brown.

Ming, like Brown is a man of substance. Cameron has yet to earn that reputation. I'd suggest your leader is the one with the most question marks against his name.

Marcus Wood said...

Interesting, elephunt. You are saying what most Labour punters on as well as the usual political commentators say; but I just have a hunch that -at the final hurdle- Gordon will fall.

If I am wrong I shall be delighted, because I am certain that GB will command less votes where it matters than TB. Even though Labour supporters in safe Labour seats will back him, will wavering and floating voters in marginals do the same?

Marcus Wood said...

Barrie, for some reason I didn't see your comment earlier.

I disagree that 'some of the poorest people' have benefitted from GB as chancellor; by any measure the gap between rich and poor continued to grow more rapidly under Labour right up until about 2004 and even now the marginal tax rate paid by the lowest income groups is higher than the highest rates levied on millionaires income.

And another poll in todays paper says that over half the Lib dems surveyed agree that the party is worse off without Kennedy in charge.