Inevitably on any occasion that our creaking, aging government narrows the Conservatives’ lead in the opinion polls, speculation about an early election follows. Gordon Brown has moved quickly to scotch suggestions that 2009 might see him go to the country. The Prime Minister is probably realistic enough to appreciate that any ‘bounce’ offered by his preening G20 performance will be short lived when the summit’s purportedly world changing effects are less than discernible.
When the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivers his budget statement later this month he will be forced to admit that he failed to anticipate how sharply the economic downturn would effect Britain. Yet his predecessor fails to acknowledge his role in precipitating the crisis and has not admitted that his policies have exacerbated its effects in the United Kingdom. Indeed he continues to present himself as the only man qualified to guide this country through recession.
Gordon Brown has shown pathological reluctance to allow the people of Britain their say on his leadership. Without a commanding poll lead he will not call an election until he is constitutionally obliged to do so.