What’s the electoral price for Brown’s dissent?

What’s the electoral price for Brown’s dissent?

    Labour sell price down three

A sign of the complete confidence that Gordon Brown has in a Labour victory at the election is the report this morning that he is considering going “it alone in the run-up to the general election after being “excluded” from campaign preparations by Downing Street.

The report in the Independent observes: In a sign of serious tensions between the Prime Minister and the Chancellor, Mr Brown signalled that he would be forming his own ideas for Labour’s third term after being sidelined from manifesto preparations. Allies of Mr Brown said the Chancellor had been asked by more than 100 Labour MPs to visit their constituencies before the next general election and would be touring the country with his own campaign roadshow. The decision to visit vulnerable Labour seats will be seen as an attempt by Mr Brown to build a power base after he was supplanted as “general election supremo” by Alan Milburn. Yesterday, in an extraordinary step, the Chancellor set out his own agenda for a third term with ideas that he said “should” be in Labour’s election manifesto.

All this follows Brown’s interview to the Today programme about his efforts to help Asia’s tsunami victims — pre-empting Mr Blair’s appearance on the same subject 24 hours later.

Already the opposition parties are planning to make great play of the Brown-Blair split during the campaign and all the evidence is, as John Major can testify, that divided parties do not go down well with the electorate. A news-hungry media could make this THE issue of the campaign.

    Could Brown’s gamble be that the worst election result for him would be Blair securing a third three figure majority?

This would simply reinforce the Prime Minister’s position and give him the power to clip the Chancellor’s wings or even transfer him to another job. A “separate” campign as suggested in the report would both establish Brown even further and undermine Blair.

There’s been a slight softening of the Spreadfair Labour spreadbetting price to 348-353 seats. This means that there is less value in a sell bet. If the Gordon Brown issue continues then we might suggest going in.

Mike Smithson

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