Is it best for Dave if Gordon to has to fight?

Is it best for Dave if Gordon to has to fight?


    Contest or coronation – what’s best for the Tories?

With the time fast running out on John McDonnell’s desperate attempt to get a further seventeen Labour MPs to back his nomination what outcome are the Tories hoping for tomorrow lunchtime?

Does the Cameron gang want Gordon to get his coronation and then spend the next six weeks with his rather pointless campaign or would they like to see Brown having to face a challenge from McDonnell?

My guess is that they would prefer a contest because they would figure that there’s a greater chance of Gordon being damaged. McDonnell is very presentable and articulate and could inflict damage on Brown on Iraq. If he is allowed to go forward then he would try to make his candidature a referendum across the whole movement of Labour’s involvement in the war.

This could put Brown on the spot and there’s the possibility that the Chancellor could say or do something that could hurt him.

On the other hand Brown could be like David Davis in 2005 who went into the Tory contest a pretty average debater and presenter but came out with his communication skills that much better honed.

The main plus side for the Tories of a coronation is that the next few weeks will look a bit ridiculous for Gordon. With the succession being an absolute certainty Cameron and his team could make a lot of mischief.

Mike Smithson

Comments on this story. As regular users will know we have had very serious technical problems today and it has not been possible to post comments since about 10am. If this continues then could people email me here and I will put their contributions on the site later in the evening.

Suffering Pb withdrawal – thought you could entertain us with a faux
commentary in style of Jack W, Roger, PtP etc (remembering to mention
Benedict’s blog every twenty posts or so). Seriously though, realised
just what entertainment I get in breaks between calls & meetings
reading PoliticalBetting, great work and get it back up soon!


It looks like DC’s strategy for the 7 week hiatus is clear. He plays the man of action – two days with a Muslim family in the Midlands, one day working as a classroom assistant, and more to come I’m sure – while Gordon and his
squabbling deputies talk amongst themselves about what they intend to do after 10 years of massive majorities.

Meanwhile his ‘brains’ float more centrist, annoy-the-heartlands material like boosting academies and rejecting new grammar schools.
The grammars policy – though clearly a re-announcement – fits neatly into the Project Cameron package. Put up a grammar school boy to sell the sell-out. Rub salt into the New/Old Labour wound. Focus single-mindedly on
the majority over the minority. Aim for the floating middle class and let Tombstone and the Tory Trads go hang. Pile up your votes where you need them – in the marginals, not in the Tory heartlands.

As for a Brown contest, I’d guest they’d be agnostic.The Davis example, I’m afraid, doesn’t wash. DD was just as poor a presenter
and interviewee at the end of the process as he was at the beginning. One good Question Time did not make a Spring.
Brown, similarly, is unlikely to improve whether or not there is a contest.
He does, however, have one thing no-one else has, and that is the power to ‘do something’. Everyone else is merely talking… Brown can actually put troops on the ground, or, in this case, take them off it.


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