Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Why Brown Will Still Be Here in 2010

There has been much talk of the tide turning last Thursday. In fact, the turning point was last October, and it has just got steadily worse for Labour since, but Thursday was the first time that the extent was actually measurable at the ballot box.

However, despite the predictable talk, Brown will, I think, still be leading Labour into the 2010 election. Why?

1) It is just at the “talk” stage – this is the first time there has been any serious consideration in the open media of a change of leader. To be effective, a groundswell against a leader needs to have reached a far more advanced stage than this.
2) The talk was before Brown’s so-called “fightback”, and potentially a reshuffle. Whilst not much, at this early stage it should be just enough to put off any serious challenge. By Brown’s mediocre standards, his interviews this morning with Andrew Marr and Adam Boulton were competent enough.
3) By surviving past October, which is most likely, Brown will be in until 2010, since if they aren’t going to change leader this year, then it’s even less likely next year (in the run-up to the general election).
4) If there is any challenge this year, it will only be a stalking horse – the next logical step. A John Redwood to Brown’s John Major.
5) The bunker delusion is strong – the belief that it can still be turned around despite all the signals of the turned tide. This is only something that can really be appreciated with hindsight – and that is what any Conservative, from activist to MP, understands only too well from the nineties.

Of course, this is all good stuff for us Conservatives – combined with a lacklustre LibDem “opposition” – though whether the electorate at large views the prospect of a two year general election campaign with the same glee as us sad political animals is another matter.

Another matter, also, is Crewe and Nantwich, which could still force a stalking horse into the open and could be the only potential flaw in my Brown-will-stay theory. Time will tell if the unseemly rush to move the writ was inspired or another dire miscalculation. In under three weeks time, we will know.

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