General election coming this year?
Sleaze and deceit will hasten Blair's exit. Now expect a surprise general election in the autumn.
IN BRITAIN, the Prime Minister is not above the law, particularly in awarding honours. The law of the sale of honours is largely contained in two statutes, the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act, 1925 and the broader Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act, 1889.
The 1925 Act concentrates on corrupt procurement. “Any person who accepts or agrees to accept or attempts to obtain from any person for himself or another the grant of a dignity or title of honour is guilty of a misdemeanour, and liable on conviction to imprisonment for two years or a fine of £500 or both.” The 1925 Act was a response to the scandal of the Lloyd George peerages and the activities of his agent Maundy Gregory.
The latest public opinion polls suggest that a 3-1 majority of the public do in fact believe that the Prime Minister has sold peerages. The public suspicion of sleaze is very damaging to the Labour Party; it may force a change of leader.
In May the local elections are expected to be disastrous for Labour. If they are, Tony Blair’s position will be weakened still further. If Mr Blair does not go now, as he should, July should be the latest month. Gordon Brown is the obvious successor.
Mr Brown would then have to decide whether to establish his own mandate by holding an early election. There would be a strong case for him to do so. Like all parties that have been in office for a long time, Labour’s underlying support is falling; even at the past election their vote fell by 1.2 million. By 2010, the last year for the next general election, they are likely to have become even more unpopular. The last year in which Labour could win an overall majority could well be 2006.
At present, Labour has a majority of 64, which means it holds 32 more seats than the other parties combined. On the present timetable about half that majority will be removed by redistribution of the constituencies. That, however, will probably not take place until January 1, 2007. Any election held in 2006 would be fought on the existing boundaries.
If Mr Blair does resign by July the brave course for Mr Brown would be to go to the country in late September or October.
I hope Blair does go soon and there is an election. I can't see an election happening though, Labour will still be financially recovering from the last election. I honestly don't think they will hold an election if they dont think they can afford it themselves.
If it does happen it can only be good news for the BNP. Muslims have been protesting over the cartoons, there were riots in Birmingham, Blair has given up part of our rebate and wants to make us have ID cards. He has also tried to have Nick Griffin sent to jail for speaking his mind. I can't see how that wouldn't benefit the BNP as it is all relatively fresh in our minds unless like Labour, the BNP have very little money to fight a general election.