Robinson Gets the Scoop
The BBC's political editor, Nick Robinson, is reporting that Gordon Brown will announce that there is to be no autumn election. Brown will apparently be on Andrew Marr's AM programme tomorrow morning and will, in typical New Labour fashion, use the interview to explain that there will be no election. The ramifications of this are huge. Brown has spent the last few months, and especially weeks, hinting about an early election. This was initially to annoy the Conservatives, and engage in what must have seemed a bit of politically advantageous mischief making. But boy, has it misfired. The likely decision is based on some ICM polls from marginal seats which show the Tories 6% ahead; it is the marginal seats which could well decide the results of an election, hence Brown's cold-footed retreat. Whether his reputation can recover, and whether this is the start of a long slide towards eventual electoral defeat at the hands of the tories, can only be speculated at, but it certainly looks as if Gordon Brown's carefully cultivated summer reputation as the 'man of substance' has been blown out of the water.