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Could Cameron have started the ball rolling for a possible Labour challener to rival Brown I wonder?

If the economy goes any more wrong, and it's certainly showing signs of doing so I think it will be very difficult for Brown to have anything but the shortest premiership. It wouldn't surprise me if he ran on a joint ticket with a youngish New Labour figure as Deputy Leader

I think we all agree that Brown is desperate to become leader of the Labour Party and so PM before his economic chickens come home to roost.

Fortunately, the longer Tony fannies around looking for something to be his "legacy", the more likely it is that Brown will inherit the Labour Party just in time for the reality of his massive waste, higher taxes and economic mismanagement to hit the voting public fully (even those who currently have their hands firmly....in the sand - I think that's the polite way to put it).

Let's be perfectly clear, for all the glorification of Tony and "New" Labour, the real reason for the fall from grace of the Conservative Party was economic. Without ERM and everything that resulted from it, we might never have had Blair as PM.

If it takes a recession to bring back a Conservative government, painful as it might be for all of us financially, I for one will welcome it.

I'm still saying it, Hilary Benn.

That comment about wanting a recession was disgraceful. I certainly don't want tens of thousands of people to be condemned to financial misery just so our lot can grab the red boxes.

I think the favourite amongst the younger Labour ministers would be David Milliband.I doubt however whether the Labour party would ditch Brown.They have a massive lack of talent on their frontbench and I guess they know it.
Alan Johnson seems a fully paid up member of the human race but after his civil service pension capitulation his copybook has been well and truly blotted!

I agree Christopher. Conservatives should never want bad things for our country.

On Brown - perhaps the betting visitors to this site should put money on him NOT being Labour's leader at the next election.

I quite like wasp's suggestion of Mr Benn.

In reply to Christopher Owen, if we had a more logical and educated electorate which could see past the headlines to the financial reality of Brown's mismanagement, it wouldn't require a recession to result in a change of government.

Unfortunately, this isn't the case and so, to a greater or lesser extent, the country, its economy and the population as a whole will suffer for the failure of the electorate to use its power to remove the current government on the two occasions it has had the chance since 1997.

Is there a possibility that Labour will dump Brown for a younger, less baggaged opponent to Cameron? It still seems unlikely - but no longer so improbable.

In my opinion Brown becoming leader of the Labour party now would be an excellent opportunity for us. We'd have a completely unblooded chancellor to face, and Osbourne would have a field day watching the economy fall apart in front of Brown's sucessor.

The next election will be fought on economic grounds, that is certain and therefore won't be won due to who is fighting on either side at PMQs but simply because Labour will have a young new inexperienced chancellor who we will label as such, and claim that Labour cannot be trusted to let such people manage the economy.

I'm certainly taking the populus poll with a pinch of salt (or maybe a bag...) after what happened during the leadership election. We should also remember that Conservatives always poll a couple of points lower than they come out at the ballot box, meaning we are either level with labour or at least 4 or 5 points ahead.

Who will be the next Chancellor after Brown?
Is there a book on it somewhere?

It doesn't need a recession for a change of government. After all, Major expected the upturn in the economy to work to his advantage. By 1997, the economy was strong and growing. Labour were still elected.

Chris,I think the favourite to be Browns Chancellor is the exceptionally charismatic Alistair Darling.It could be because he has done such a marvellous job at Transport but the fact that he is a fellow Scot and Brown crony might have something to do with it!

"Who will be the next Chancellor after Brown?"

I've read that it will be Alistair Darling.

Im thinking Milliband. A Labour version of Cameron. He isnt being promoted high enough yet though to suggest its actually a banker.

Darling or maybe at a stretch Des Browne.

These polls are just the honeymoon period, we need to wait a few months before they settle down.

With all this talk about parties being representative of the country, what about the Scottish representation on the Labour benches. Has anyone counted them all up? I bet the percentage is way above the proportion of Scots in the population.

Brown will be a gift for us. Optimism vs Manse-steeped gloom. Our bright leader who wants to have a normal conversation with the public vs a dalek without the casing, who can only parp out soundbites. Love of country vs class hatred. Think of all your middle class friends who were seduced by Mr Blair and consider if they'll feel so friendly towards the man who's ruined their pensions and who can't communicate with human beings. I'm sure Mr Brown is charming in private but his public persona is, at best, cold - and more often absolutely charmless.

I don't think the UK media have yet absorbed the impact of having a member for a Scottish seat as the UK's prime minister, post-devolution. I don't think it will take the tabloids long to work out the inconsistencies, and I think it will become electorally untenable without a rethink of the post devolution settlement. More grist for our mill! I'm Scottish by the way, this isn't a desire to do down Scotland, just noticing that we will be required to have a public debate about the west Lothian question sooner, rather than later, in a Brown premiership.

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian today thinks that Brown will regain popularity over Cameron by offering fresh popular new policies like.....giving up trident.


I love Polly Toynbee, the Glenda Slagg of the Hampstead classes. Remember when she spent a couple of days on a council estate, so she could find out first hand what life was really like for her domestic staff?!

Poll Toynbee comes high in my list of people that I despise purely due to their rudeness, though I will admit that she is highly inteligent (Can dodge questions amazingly).

I was unfortunate enough to be dragged along to a Guardian pre-election briefing by my politics tutor, which happened to be jam packed with socialists. It turned into a session of Tory bashing by those on the panel (Die hard socialists, as they all admitted who would never consider voting Tory) which was supposedly unbiased. I and another Tory supporter tried to ask question only to be told that we were talking rubbish as Polly odged the question.

As for the West Lothian question I'm hoping Cameron might bring it up at PMQs soon, like he did with Davis during the leadership campaign. Then again I wish that Cameron would look into proportional representation, but I doubt he will. The results always come out the same, its great for the opposition and bad for those in power... who can implement it? The ones in power...

While Brown doesn't have the advantages of Blair I think he be better than the other Brown(George) who tried to become leader. I think we will only know how good he be when the leadership and deputy leadership contest comes about. The problem is they may have an general election just after which could backfire against us if he wins the leadership by a landslide?

Peter, I'd suspect that Brown winning by a landslide following the latet popularity polls would help us in a general election. A fair ammount of the public would feel that the hadn't been listened to, and Labour by appointing someone they disliked would be no longer fit for government.

The big question is how we plan to win the next election. We need to decided whether we are aiming to get the middle class defectors back on side, seeing as many of them returned to us back in May or whether we try to strike at the core of Labour's support by becoming champions of the working class.

All this talk of rivals to Brown reminds me of a really amusing discussion a few of us (I think Malcolm and James H were party to it as well) had over on the leadership blog a few months back (my very first post on the blog was on that subject IIRC). I'll see if I can find that discussion so others can add their thoughts...

Chris firstly we can't just win on middle class votes(so no flat tax on the upper rate). Secondly if they were a contest and a high turnover why would people go against Brown, to me that has no logic to it. Yes we need policies the problem is at the moment we haven't any?

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