Wednesday, September 26, 2007

How much of a Gamble is an early election?

There is still an enormous amount in the media every day at the moment about the possibility of an early election.

As a Tory candidate in a front-line LD marginal the one thing I would love to be doing next month is fighting an election - a rejuvenated Labour party and the Lib Dems down on 13% in the polls works for me in Torbay, although I accept that it's not the ideal scenario for the Conservative Party (or the country) at large.

We have all our election material written and ready to go, we have our election plan agreed, audited by Central Office and we have the money ready in my election fund.

The possibility that I could end up being an MP by Christmas instead of simply being a PPC for another 2 or more years is a deliciously tempting prospect for me.

But the gamble for Brown is one I am still very clear he won't take. The 'upside' is a five year term with a majority that -because of boundary changes and difficulties with the SNP is Scotland- would go down even with a significantly improved vote share from the 2005 36% that Labour got.

The likeliest outcome is a reduced or non-existent majority and the prospect of a John Major/Jim Callaghan style death by a dozen by-elections and the downside is the possibility of losing - as happened to Wilson when he called a snap election in 1970; which would write Brown into the history books as Britains biggest loser.

Of course Gordon Brown hasn’t decided, and he won’t decide - he’ll put it off, and delay, and wait and see for a day or two, and then just mull it over for another weekend - then see what the Sundays say, and so on until it will be too late.

What the activists in Labour are trying to do is bounce him into a place where he has to make a decision because they know what we all know, things can only get worse. they think that Gordons best chance - indeed his only chance, is to go to the country just as soon as he can.

Well, here in Torbay, we are ready for him.

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