Wouldn’t this clear the air and he could possibly win?
One thing’s for certain – the disquiet within the Labour party about the leadership that has suddenly gone public is going to continue even if Team Brown manage to see off the current threat.
And all this does is make Brown look weaker and weaker resulting in it being even harder for him to govern properly adding further to Labour’s polling woes.
But it does not need to be like this as John O suggested on the previous thread. Brown take the initiative and do what John Major did in 1995 and with a “put up or shut up” leadership contest? Then the most likely rival to Major, Michael Portillo, ducked out of the fight and the Prime Minister went on to beat John Redwood.
As it turned out there was a rallying behind Major and he won giving himself some temporary relief. In Brown’s case a victory would have a much bigger impact because a large part of his current problem was that he got the job last year uncontested. An election that Brown invited would legitimatise his position and the show of courage in being prepared to face such a fight would pay big dividends in terms of his popularity.
The question would be whether there would be a credible challenger. Would a Miliband, a Harman or a Johnson be prepared to put his future on the line? What about Balls or even Purnell? I cannot see any of them having the bottle to do it.
But John Cruddas would surely throw his hat into the ring and even though he is not a minister he would be a credible challenger. A Brown-Cruddas fight would leave Labour stronger whoever ended up the winner.
From Gordon’s perspective such a ballot would either end the agony or make his position much stronger. There’s the not inconsiderable benefit that would also blank out Cameron and the Tories from the news bulletins for a couple of months.
It makes an awful lot of sense but I cannot see Brown doing it.