Friday, September 12, 2008

Comrades in conflict .

It's not just the Local Conservatives who are changing their leader apparently....

News reports have begun to appear that a junior Government minister Siobhain McDonagh (who IS she?) has apparently requested a leadership nomination form from party officers ahead of Labours conference next week.

Sky News reports:

"Ms Donagh is one of several Labour MPs who have requested leadership nomination papers ahead of the party's conference.

The form, which Labour say has not been routinely issued since they were in opposition, is a necessary step in forcing a leadership challenge.

A potential leadership candidate would need the support of 71 MPs in order to trigger such a contest"

From where I sit in the opposing camp Labour are getting into the same terrible place that we Conservatives were in during the last years of John Majors time; and potentially could have ended up here in Torbay, had our local Tory leadership not come to an abrupt conclusion this week.

If Labour don't have a leadership election and prove that Brown is wanted by the majority of his MP's the endless speculation will just go on eroding their ( and his) credibility, and if they do have a leadership election he will lose it and there will be an early General Election.

Of course the reality is that this is a false choice.

When a leadership gets into this situation deep down everyone knows that for whatever reason the leaders reign is already over; leaders need enthusiastic support to have any chance of doing a decent job - anything less than that and they are a lame duck who will probably be powerless anyway. So its not a case of if Gordon Brown goes, more a question of when. Can he hold out to 2010? I think he probably can - but the damage could put Labour out of action for a generation.

UPDATE Saturday : a second MP has also called for a leadership contest today. Is this part of a structured plot? Are we going to see a drip-drip every day of more and more MP's and ex ministers demanding a chance to challenge?

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