Monday, September 28, 2009

The Last Ever Labour Government?

As ever, I'm running behind with the news, but this report by the left-wing think tank Compass, which was publicised on Sunday, should be giving the Labour party pause for thought. They contend that should Labour lose the next election, they may well find themselves out of power for ever. They identify three key reasons:

1. David Cameron's promised cut of 10% in parliamentary seats will hit the Labour Party most of all, since they currently represent the lowest population density seats at present.
2. A new Conservative government might well prompt a sharp move towards full Scottish independence north of the border, forcing the removal of all of the Scottish Westminster seats, again to the detriment of Labour (they currently hold 45).
3. David Cameron's likely funding reforms could cut the union base off from the Labour party, destabilising a heavily indebted party even further.

This is a pretty dire prediction for Labour, and not without some credibility. Compass believe they can preserve something from the wreckage if they embrace PR electoral reform now, perhaps with a referendum on the subject on the day of the next General Election, designed to bind the hands of an incoming government. Whatever the likelihood of Compass' doomsday briefing, there can be little doubt that, whether on electoral reform or social issues, Gordon Brown might just preserve Labour's future, even if he doesn't save himself, with very radical policy proposals now. He still has power to use - will he overcome his innate caution??

1 comment:

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Joan Stepsen
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