The next Labour leader

Political Betting gets out its crystal ball:

Cameron will win at least two terms, and that whoever succeeds Brown as Labour leader (assuming it’s after the GE) won’t ever get to “kiss hands” with the monarch, whether it be Harman, Johnson, or whoever – they’ll be in the William Hague role and their job will be to try and eat into the Tory lead in 2014/5 and move the party forward (as Hague, at least in seats, failed to do).

Gordon Brown doesn’t have to go to the people until June 2010. At the moment, he’s behind in the polls, so he’s unlikely to go until the polls are more favourable to him. But will this happen? We’re at the start of a recession, and while Brown’s performance looked good back in October, the longer the recession goes on the worse it will be for the government. So Labour’s best hope is that the recession will end in early 2010 and things will start to look better.

I don’t think that will happen. From what I’ve read, this recession is going to be a bad one, and the UK economy will still look bad in the summer of 2010. More importantly, people will feel bad — they’ll be unemployed, will have trouble paying their mortgages, etc,  and people tend to blame the government when things are going badly.

So the next general election will be in the spring or summer of 2010, and the Tories will win it. What then? According to Political Betting:

However, these aren’t normal times by any stretch. Where there’s economic turmoil, political turmoil follows (Iceland, Greece, Latvia, Ireland? etc), and I don’t see this downturn being over quickly. So might it be that a newly-elected Cameron government actually loses support rather rapidly and the new Labour leader has a chance to win back power straightaway? It may be a bit of a longshot – but perhaps less of one than in calmer economic waters.

This is a possiblity, but I don’t think it’s very likely. David Cameron in 2010 will have the same advantage Barack Obama has now: the recession is associated with the previous administration, so it isn’t seen to be their fault.

So it looks like Cameron’s in for two terms, and the next Labour leader will have the same role as Neil Kinnock or William Hague.

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