Gordon Brown backs down over snap election

Gordon Brown has scrapped plans to hold an early general election, provoking Tory jibes that he has been forced into a “humiliating” retreat after a slump in the polls.

After studying private Labour opinion polls and focus group research, the prime minister concluded it was too risky to go to the country this autumn ”“ and indicated last night a general election might be delayed until 2009. The decision comes as a Sunday Times poll this weekend shows the Tories have swept into a three-point lead, having been more than 10 points behind only last weekend. It is the first time David Cameron’s party has been ahead since Brown took over as prime minister.

A separate poll for the News of World shows the Tory lead is even bigger in marginal seats, rising to six points ahead of Labour. Both surveys suggest there would be a hung parliament if the election were held now.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, England / UK

3 comments on “Gordon Brown backs down over snap election

  1. azusa says:

    The British ‘constitution’, shared by the former colonies, creates this mess by giving the prime minister the power to call an election when he wishes. Under British law, too, he has the power (and uses it) to change the powers and membership of the upper house. And this is to say nothing about the absurd situation in which Scotland has its own government but England doesn’t and Scottish MPs (of which Brown is one – his party has 43 Scottish seats) vote on matters affecting England but English MPs can’t vote on Scottish matters. Add to this the de facto rule of the unelected (by the Brits) European Union over large areas of national life and you can see that democracy has become a joke in the ‘Mother of Parliaments’. Most Brits do not want this kind of rule over them, but they will not be given a chance to vote on it in a referendum. Champagne socialists like ‘Broon’ and the international ueber-rich who now live tax-free in London will see to that.
    Far better to have a written constitution with fixed terms and separation of powers.

  2. Nate says:

    Sure the PM can call elections, but if the Tories were to win more seats, they could force his hand to do so. I agree with your last statement that a separation of powers is better than none–the strength of parliamentary democracy is that it is not a two party system in most places. I think it would be good for all of us if the US had more serious parties which forced the main two to build governing coalitions rather than assuming “political capital” and proceeding to bludgeon the other.

  3. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    #1 Sadly, we do not all have the good fortune to live in the United States.