Is Portillo right about Gord?

Is Portillo right about Gord?

Has the PM been transformed into a “risk taker”?

On the Andrew Neil programme last night Michael Portillo made an acute observation which I’ve been thrashing about in my mind ever since – that recent events have led to a transformation in Brown’s character and that he might have become a risk-taker and a gambler.

At the time of the Glenrothes by-election I pondered that that for him to become so personally involved was an enormous risk. If Labour hadn’t have won it would have re-bounded on him even more. Well he came through that with flying colours and that, no doubt, has added to his confidence which seems to be growing by the day.

The dreadful experience of not taking the chance in late September/early October 2007 when Ipsos-MORI had C31-L44-LD15 has surely left its mark. It must have convinced him that if he is to secure a fourth term for Labour then he has to be prepared to gamble if the circumstances become right.

Well within the last hour or two there have been newspaper reports quoting so-called “Brown allies” are talking up a June general election – on the same day as the Euro and local elections.

Certainly everything depends on the polling and it’s hard to see Labour 13% margin returning. But if other surveys start to show Tory leads down to the MORI’s 3% level then it must start to look tempting.

From that level there must be a fighting chance that Brown could be returned as leader of the party with the most seats or even with a slim majority.

In the betting you can get 13/8 on a 2009 election. Looks tempting.

Mike Smithson

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