Would having the only male leader impact on UK domestic politics?
An extraordinary series of developments, which few people seem seem to have picked up, is that in just over two years time the leaders of three of the four biggest economies in the West could be women.
Germany got its first ever female Chancellor in the early summer when Angela Merkel just managed to secure the top job after an indecisive election result saw the end of the Schroeder government.
France might just possibly have a female President for the first time if Segolene Royale becomes the Socialist candidate and goes on to win next year’s Presidential election.
The USA, as we discussed a couple of weeks ago, has two female possibities – Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Condoleeza Rice for the Republicans.
Judging by the betting and the polls there is a realistic prospect that all this could come about. In an opinion poll last week Royal led Sarkozy 51-49 and the latest betting has her at 6/4 to get the job.
In the US Hillary is priced at 1.26/1 to secure the nomination and 7/4 win back the White House for the Democrats in 2008. On the Republican side Rice is priced at 10.5/1 to get her party’s nomination. Neither of these, it should be said, have announced that they will be running.
If the US and France went for women then three out of the four top western economies would be led by females. The UK would be the odd one out.
If this were to come about the whole look and feel of international politics would change in a way that is hard to predict. Would, for instance there be any knock on effect in UK domestic politics?
You could see both Brown and Cameron trying to pitch that they would be best in a changed world. The gender split in domestic opinion polls would be given greater prominence and it would filled acres of newspaper space.