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Where does Brown go from here?

October 7, 2007

A look at Brown’s options after the decision not to call an election

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The conventional wisdom is that Brown’s actions over the last fortnight have been a huge, possibly terminal, blunder. It is difficult to dispute that Brown has undercut his attempts to gain support from disaffacted conservatives, united the Tories around David Cameron and damaged Labour’s standing in the polls. However, much of the damage is overstated. Most people are not particularly concerned with the ‘inside football’ of political strategy and although they will vaguely remember this for a few months this will be old news by the spring, if not before. It is also important to point out that Brown has not completely closed the door on a 2008 election, only saying that it is ‘extremely unlikely’. Indeed, I fully expect him to go to the country in June 2008, probably in conjunction with a referedum on Europe, although he will not make the schoolboy error of giving the opposition a large amount of advance notice.

Although I admit that I have probably lost money on the contrast I bought at around 66, though this is more to do with the delay in the election, I still think Labour has a very good chance (60%+) to win the next election and I will be putting in an order to buy some more when they fall below 53. I have also placed money on a Jan-Jun 2008 election at 16/1 and a Jul-Dec 2008 election at 17/1 (note: this is not part of my Intrade betting account and so won’t be counted as part of my trading book).

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