Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Remember 1970

Despite the hysteria about the latest "Labour 11 points ahead" YouGov poll, I remain convinced that Brown is not stupid enough to call an election this year.

The Labour lead in the polls will diminish with the Tory conference next week (the Tories do conferences very well). And look at what the YouGov poll said about voters' thoughts on a potential election date:

...voters polled by YouGov did not favour an election this year. The Channel 4 News poll asked "when do you think it would it be in Britain's best interests for an election to be held?"

Only 29 per cent said "this autumn". 39 per cent said next year (2008), while nine per cent chose 2009, nine per cent chose 2010, and fifteen per cent said they didn't know.

People don't actually want an election. They don't feel Brown needs a mandate and nor does Brown (speaking on Today earlier this week) feel that he needs a fresh mandate.

So all right, the polls look good for Labour now, but the Great British voter will not take kindly to being roused out of their armchair to go to the polls on a dark, cold, rainy November day for no reason other than that Gordon Brown is ahead in the polls and thinks he can grab a win.

Remember 1970:

After some difficult times in office, Labour's fortunes began to pick up as the general election approached. Prime Minister Harold Wilson was confident of victory but Labour's lead in the opinion polls proved to be shaky. Poor economic figures released just before the election tipped the balance decisively towards the Conservatives. Edward Heath won a surprise victory, landing himself a safe 30-seat majority in the Commons.

In fact, what happened is that Labour led in the polls throughout the campaign, but things "flipped" to the Tories in the last few days.

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