Could Labour and the Lib Dems skip a generation as well?

Could Labour and the Lib Dems skip a generation as well?


    Might David Milband and Ed Davey benefit from the “Cameron effect”?

One side effect of the emergence of David Cameron for the Tory leadership has been a change on the betting markets for the Labour leadership. The 54 year old Gordon Brown remains, of course, the red-hot odds on favourite but in recent weeks there’s been money going on the 40 year old Minister of State for Communities and Local Government, David Miliband who joined the Cabinet in May.

On the Betfair exchange he’s now at 15/1 which puts him in the second favourite position ahead of “heavyweights” such as Alan Milburn, Charles Clarke and Peter Hain.

    Like Cameron, he entered Parliament at the 2001 General Election, and like Cameron, as well, he went to Oxford where he also got a first in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

There can be little doubt that a Cameron leadership will have an impact on the other parties. The generation aspect is clearly important and Miliband would appear to be in a good position if the mood moved against Gordon Brown.

Unlike Labour, where we know there will be a change before the General Election, the Lib Dems look set to remain with Charles Kennedy. But if there was a vacancy then one of its brightest stars is another Oxford-educated 40 year old, Ed Davey. Like Cameron he leads for his party on Education.

Everything, of course, depends on timing. It’s hard at the moment to envisage anything other than a Brown-Cameron-Kennedy line-up at the next General Election. But if Cameron manages to get some traction into the Tories, and that is a big IF, then the other parties are bound to be affected.

    We might yet see the 2009/10 election leaders being three men who were born within a year of each other, who all went to the same university at about the same time and who all read the same subject.

Whatever the political landscape is changing and it will be fascinating to watch.

SPAM-TRAP APOLOGIES. A number of comments have been held up by the spam-trap because they contained the word “Pussy” – as in “Pink Pussy” – which Jeremy Paxman sought to question David Cameron about on Thursday.

Mike Smithson

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