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I'll rate it a 70% certainty.

I do hope you will have rapidly consolidated the promising signs of a sense of direction in good time!

Well if there is an election it will rubbish Brown's claim to be getting on with the job for the country, and could only be seen as opportunist and an attempt to take credit for the tax give away before the effects of the recession really bite and before the bills for his tax give away get realised.

It will be clear the only thing that matters in Brown's Britain is Brown.

A winter election? Seriously?! x

Peronally I can't understand the logic of this observation.

If as a Labour Party candidate you had any chance of winning your seat at the next election. Then surely you wouldn't want to be pictured with the PM. After all, he is still a vote loser.

What are the rules on these photos? I was under the impression that permission was needed for photoshoots in Parliament, let alone party photo shoots...

Surely none of them have a hope.

Jonathan, yes!

We don't hold elections in winter.

Then again: Brown would most likely win it, if by the narrowest of margins. So maybe it's time for him to gamble.

He once destroyed the Tories on economic policy in Parliament yesterday.


1) He is charging the MPs - fees to fund his tax cuts.

2) These are in lieu of chirstmas cards - money saved to fund his tax cuts.

3) It is for his 'fairwell' tribute (lets hope!)

4) Photos are to be used to train jaqui smiths id/face recognition system - to track/spot any anti-brown plotters early, where ever they meet.

5) He is in training to see if he can shake a hand and smile with out creeping every one out.


Apart from us not having one in winter, if he called it now it would also clash with christmas and new year, would it not?

Could he call it for just before christmas and try and get a christmas feel good factor vote?

Otherwise he's asking for too many people to campaign over their christmas holidays and is also far too long to give time for something to happen and the polls swing the other way.

My bet is still on having combined EU and general election, but we won't find out till march, and definately nothing is happening or being announced in 2008.
By which time I expect the EU will have become an important issue as labour will want to use the election as a mandate for the constitution amongst other things.

All the Shadow Cabinet members with outside interests had better get resigning, then,

Bottler Brown can't bottle it twice, can he?

I can already hear Gordon Brown's announcement.

"The Opposition say that we should not cut taxes on hard-working families in this global economic downturn. I say we can but we should let the electorate decide. This is a referendum on economic management. Mine or George Osborne's (err, sorry Alistair)."

David Cameron should leap on this photo shoot and seize the advantage. He should ask the PM for a General Election at next PMQs.

Oh come on! There were lines of candidates being photographed at the conferences only a month ago.

It happens!

If the polls draw equal by Christmas, and Labour pull ahead in the New Year, and the tax cuts etc kick in early spring then General Election for June (with European and Local Elections) is a cert I reckon...

As a candidate in a marginal seat I say please, please let this be true :)

"then General Election for June (with European and Local Elections) is a cert I reckon..."

GB may calculate that result in the maximum exposure for UKIP and therefore damage the Tories more than would otherwise be the case.

It is ironic, given the 10p fiasco earlier this year (which was largely responsible for Labour’s defeat at Crewe) and the fiasco that has been Brownian economic policy, that the latest MORI poll has Labour at 37% (+7), the Tories on 40% (-5) and the Lib Dems on 12% (-2).

It is now certain that Brown will call a spring 2009 election - or sooner if he can - because the electorate have fallen for Mandelson’s hyper-spinning. There’s also the Osborne effect where it truly is make or break time for the Tories and for their Shadow Chancellor in particular.

Osborne must (i) perform absolutely superbly at the PBR next week or (ii) he must go. If he doesn’t (i) and he doesn’t (ii), he will bring Cameron crashing down with him if Brown does what I believe he is now in poll position to do post-PBR, which is to call a January 2009 General Election.

The Tories have to offer a major cut in people’s income tax and not to be seen as Scrooge at Christmas. Read Roger Bootle’s article. Read Fraser Nelson’s. Listen to the people who know. Tax cuts stimulate the economy and they are also immensely popular.

It truly is make or break time. Don’t mess it up, Tories, for the sake of the country!

But Jonathan @ 14.44 Mr. Brown is unlikely to think he is a vote-loser, thats what he pays (sorry WE pay) his sycophants for, to reassure and smarm him into believing that he's got it made all the way?!!!

With regard to the latest MORI poll, it does seem strange that some people think Brown has just arrived on a white charger to save the economy for the nation and has had absolutely nothing to do with it in the past 11 years but then there's nowt so queer as voters.

In the words of Kevin Keegan I would LOVE IT if this were true. I would LOVE IT even more if we beat them!

Very true Patsy, but the Labour troops on the ground know the truth. In the literature that I receive from my local Labour M.P and council, Gordon Brown is the invisible man. The contrast with the literature from my local Conservative Association is stark; clearly one party is proud of its leader, the other is not.

Lets make comparisons to when a party in government won a fourth term... 1992:

- John Major was defending with a majority of 100, Brown will have a notional majority of 30 - 40 seats. In addition, when the Tories won their third election, they had 43% of the vote. When Labour won their third election, they won just 36% of the vote.

- John Major was personally very popular. Brown is nowhere near. He had also come out the Gulf War on a high.

- The Tories had a massive campaign infrastructure and lots of spending money going into a 4th General Election. In contrast, Labour are flagging... they were close to bankruptcy earlier this year. In short, we would be able to put on a far better and more effective campaign.

- Ok, the country was in a deep recession in 1992, but memories of the Labour government in the late 70s were still strong. In comparison, Black Wednesday is 16+ years ago and Ken Clarke left a strong economy in 1997 (not that Joe public generally remember that...).

- In 1992, Labour was still very much 'Old Labour.' The Conservatives are heading into this election with a 'new party' image.

- In 1992, our local electoral base was still quite strong (with most of the 'wipeouts' happening in the mid 90s. Labours local electoral base has been pretty much destroyed. In addition, they do not control London or Scotland.

- In 1992, the recession had happened. At the moment, the Brown stuff is really starting to hit the fan. Should unemployment reach 3 million again, Brown should all but lose any economic credibility he has left.

Sorry if its a bit 'waffley' - I really should be doing some work ;-).

Generally speaking, the context with which Labour would attempt to go into a fourth term in 2009 is an exceedingly poor one.

We should expect to win 50 - 75 seats from Labour AT THE VERY LEAST! That, in my opinion, would be a bit of a disaster considering all the hard work and money that has gone in since Cameron took over.

However, would Brown really want to attempt to lead a government with a large minority and, very possibly, with the Tories commanding an overall popular mandate (given the awful inbalance in our Parliamentary system)?

I think not. He would not last 5 minutes and I think he knows this. He will attempt to wait out the recession and hold out until 2010.

On a completely different note, knowing how conniving and machiavellian Brown can be, maybe they are doing this in an attempt to cause us a headache? Or am I just being completely cynical?

I wouldn't be at all surprised. Making political capital out of the depths of a recession is just the sort of sickening thing Brown would do.

Thats interesting Jonathan @ 16.42!

Whilst I think there is as much chance of Brown calling an early election as it is likely that I will be selected to play for England in next years Ashes series. I, like Louise Bagshawe and many other target seat candidates, would warmly welcome the prospect of an early election but I shall not be dusting down the correx posters or reaching for my bat and pads just yet.

A strong and united Conservative party will be the only thing that prevents Labour going to the polls early.

Its just a rumour guys and it is just that, nothing more. I would bet my left testicle the election wont be held till Spring 2010, the hope being that sprouts of growth have appeared by then allowing Brown to grab the plaudits for bringing the country back out of recession. He didnt risk it when he had a better chance of winning before and he wont risk it now with too many uncertainties around.

Borrow now pay later, Christmas giveaways, disastrous unemployment by late 2009, Iraq troop withdrawal, U-turns on unpopular policy...

Now with the recent spate of push polls, it's clear Brown and his deputy prime minister are preparing the groundwork for a snap 2009 June election and a fresh mandate.

The government has been embarking on a phoney general election war since Mandleson's return. And Brown had the cheek to accuse the Tories of party politics.


Even as a non-Tory, I find Cameron's stance refreshing, as every shred of government waste and drop of further borrowing will come under healthy opposition scrutiny.

"Its just a rumour guys and it is just that, nothing more."

I tend to lean in the same direction as you on this James, although with Campbell and Mandelson back I have one caveat.

If our dishonest government get really concerned that the recession is going to be really deep and prolonged, they might risk a very early GE, barely into next Spring.
So an early GE might be more politically difficult for us, but the message its sends about the long term health of the economy will be really scary.

Given the current trend of the opinion polls, Brown must be very tempted to call an early election, i.e. just after a March tax-cutting budget. Only the Labour Party's disastrous finances would stop him.

My bet is that, opinion polls allowing, is on a June general election, on the same day as the Euro elections. That would give Brown a few months to raise the cash from the unions.

It is also likely that, unless Cameron makes a serious pledge on renegotiation, the Conservatives will split over the EU early next year.

Cameron under-estimated Brown when he took over as PM. He would be foolish to make the same mistake again. The next election is too close to call.

Conservative activists must ask themselves why the Tory poll lead has shrunk so quickly as the economy has pluged into crisis. After a fantastic summer, they should be polling above 50%.

In the four Conservative election victories between 1979 and 1992 the Party Chairman were Thorneycroft, Parkinson, Tebbit and Patten. Real big hitting politicians.

Someone of similar stature will be needed next time.

So who is the Party Chairman at the moment? Caroline Spelman - a lightweight famous for fiddling her expenses. She might have been acceptable in touchy-feely circumstances but is far too weak for these times of crisis.

Get rid of her and bring back David Davis as Party Chairman.

Not so unlikely. The fact is Brown is now a puppet. He's shown the Blair/Mandelson/Campbell cabal that he is every bit as hopeless as they feared. Not that they knew anything other than the art of covering their own traces, but that is by the way. He may wish to dodge the challenge - we know him of old - but they will be forcing him forward. Now therefore we must be ready. Indeed, we should be fighting Labour every step of the way in any case and at all times. They are smashing this country to bits. They send its young men to die in vainglorious wars without bothering to equip them. They have the blood of British soldiers on their hands. They have done their best to weaken and annihilate the last traces of national identity. In that same cause they have promoted a culture of cheap labour servicing an pauperised and demoralised underclass. They have made marriage a joke and education a dark vortex of malign ignorance. These - genuinely - are evil men. Blair the great Catholic happily voted to extend abortion rights only weeks before his trumpeted conversion. His only god is the image he sees in the mirror. Campbell was the loyal servant of a newspaper magnate who turned out to be a heartless crook. Mandelson - the record speaks for itself. These men must be deprived of any further influence over our affairs. In truth it doesn't matter what squalid calculations these Hogarthian grotesques are cooking up somewhere in the sewers of Whitehall. We should be ready to give them hell come what may, in government or out without relenting. In such a case we should soon have the Labour party where it belongs - out of parliament for good, with the venom of socialism purged from our democracy.

The parliament is coming out of mid-term, much as has happened numerous times in the past, and as usually happens at such times, governments significantly recover.

I for long have been expecting an 11 June 2009 Super Thursday with General\Local\Euro Election on the one day, some rabbits pulled out of hats in the meantime, sorting out loose ends and dropping some more controversial legislation and Labour re-elected with a similar majority, the Conservatives making net gains, the main losers being the Liberal Democrats. The DUP and Sinn Fein mopping up the remaining SDLP seats and UUP seat. Labour regaining seats from Respect, KHHC and Blaenau Gwent.

@YAA - I fear you are right. The Hare and the Tortoise come to mind.

If it is Spring 2009, then we don't even have another big conference to put out something significant, not least what our spending plans are actually going to be (I assume because of yesterday the Treasury team are going to be busy rejigging the figures over Christmas and looking at what more frivolous policies they are going to have renounce). We need to concentrate on the basics - the economy, health and education - and have something ready to offer people asap after Christmas based on new spending plans.

BTW My mother says to pass on to people on here that she listened to Michael Gove speak at a conference and says the voucher scheme won't work unless it enables a top-up system. The amounts proposed don't cover her school's fees and she asks whether he actually spoke to any people in the independent sector here when he proposed it...or when he reheated it over from the last election.

She's pretty much now not likely to vote Tory but she might if that policy was reconsidered.

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