Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Ed Balls for Labour leader!

Okay, it's fantasy politics time. I wrote on Monday about the terrifying thought of Ed Balls as Chancellor. This produced an interesting response from Paul Linford who suggested quite plausibly that the appointment of Balls would be the clearest sign yet that Brown had sunk into bunker mentality. In effect, it would mark the final collapse of the government.

I have argued constantly (except admittedly for on fleeting momentary wobble in July) that Brown will remain as PM until the general election. Removing a sitting PM is very difficult, and the Labour rule book has been amended (thanks to the antics of the left in the 1980s) to such an extent that it would need the space shuttle to get over the hurdle of having a stalking horse in place to challenge him. So expect him to stay.

But Paul's comments got me on thinking, if Brown were to go, who would be best for the Lib Dems to take over the Labour party? If the people feel Brown is unable to engage with them, how would they feel about Balls? I suspect the answer is that very quickly, the people will grow to hate this arrogant, smarmy man who would turn the present Labour nightmare into a horror of epic proportions. The cry will go out - bring back Brown, all is forgiven.

The Labour core vote has been badly damaged over the past decade. It could be that a Balls led Labour party could sink forever into the mire, just as could have happened had Tony Benn got the handful more votes he needed to beat Dennis Healey in the 1981 deputy leadership battle.

Much of the "switcher" vote at the moment shows up in the polls as Tory. The reality is that there is no burning desire to have a Cameroonie government. After all, there is is not much to go on about what he stands for. But with Balls as leader, a fair chunk of the Labour core vote could be up for grabs and could well be out of reach of the Tories, especially in places like the North East. But it could be in reach of the Lib Dems.

But of course, we all know that a Balls leadership is pure fantasy. Labour would never be that mad or desperate.....or could they?

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2 comments:

kevin scott said...

The deserting Labour 'core' vote could also bypass both the Tory party and the Lib Dems in the North East and end up somewhere else.

The Euro elections next year will be interesting.

Anonymous said...

and that vote - if it does go anywhere else, will not go to your party, Mr Scott.