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The Collective
Friday, October 5, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the BBC: Election pressure mounts for PM:

Speculation is continuing to mount that Gordon Brown will call a November general election next week.

If Brown does so, it would seem that the motivation would be the attempt to reset the clock for Labour, so to speak, as it appears that support for the party is eroding to some degree:

An ICM poll for the Guardian newspaper indicates that Conservative and Labour are level - on 38% - compared with a 7% lead for Labour one month ago.


Meanwhile, the results of an earlier YouGov survey for Channel 4 News - which interviewed 1,741 people, also on Wednesday and Thursday - suggested the government, on 40%, was four points ahead of the Tories compared with a lead of 11 points last week.

And a Populus poll for the Times, for which 803 adults were interviewed by telephone on Tuesday and Wednesday, indicated a three-point lead for Labour, on 39%, down from 10 points a week ago.

If anything, the numbers in question would make a race rather interesting.

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  1. Looks like time could be running out on the whole early election gambit, then.

    However, there is another very important factor here: Most analysts of UK elections believe that Labour could win a majority of seats even if the Conservatives had a few points lead in the vote, due to the geographic spread of votes and the patterns of 3-way competition in many districts.

    The current Labour majority is 55% of the seats and is based on a mere 35% of the votes and a three-point lead on the Tories in the 2005 election.

    A new election would not be required till May, 2010.

    Comment by MSS — Friday, October 5, 2007 @ 11:23 am

  2. Brown has boxed himself into a position, he has always been known as the politician without the killer touch, he could have finished Blair off much earlier and for a variety of reasons has didn’t. He has led his party and the media up the hill in terms of speculation for the election so that it looks inevitable that it will happen. If he decides this weekend not to have one then he damages his credibility and more than likely his political opponents will call him chicken.

    Personally I think he has to go now, it’s his best chance of winning. If he waits until the spring then he will have had to sit through a prolonged winter of public service strikes as pay deals are being rejected. The economy is also on a downward spiral and unfortunately he has had responsibility for that issue for the last 10 years, so it becomes an open goal for the opposition.

    If he goes now, he wins but on a reduced majority of 20 or seats, goes in the spring he’ll get a hung parliament. If he waits until the end of the term in 2009 he will lose the election by 50 seats and then he will be known as the prime minister who never won an election.

    Although the election is fought over 600 odd seats, in reality only 150 seats really count as they are where the seats could change hands. If the data looks good in those seats then he does need to go for it now.

    Comment by John — Friday, October 5, 2007 @ 7:42 pm

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