Sunday, May 9, 2010

Latest Speculation

The Speccie’s Fraser Nelson says the deal is on it just has to be sold to the Tory parliamentary party, half of whom are freshly minted, and the rank and file.

A deal looks likely to be agreed by Clegg and Cameron tomorrow morning, put to backbench MPs in the afternoon and then Brown will advise the Queen to send for Cameron on Tuesday.

Newsnight’s Paul Mason, who is as plugged into the Labour Party as Fraser is to the Conservatives, says the lights are going out and many want to “go gracefully into opposition and do it soon”. On the leadership issue

if the David Miliband camp and the Jon Cruddas camp were to get together it would make David Miliband hard to stop… This is being mooted but is not a done deal. Since Harriet Harman has ruled herself out of seeking the leadership [Has she really? Guido] I can see Ed Miliband emerging as a candidate backed by parts of the union movement (eg the GMB) who don’t want an alliance with David Miliband. Ed Balls would be backed to the hilt by the existing party machine, Unite and to an extent the “old Labour” left; also the Scottish Party.

The Labour NEC meets on Tuesday and Labour officials are in a rolling meeting schedule until then to decide how to respond if the party goes into opposition. One told me to expect civil war between the Brown “machine” and all those hitherto excluded from it, from the moment the PM leaves office.

Labour is heading for irrelevance…

Clegg Meets Brown, Lib-Con Deal Yet to be Struck

The Change Coalition is not in the bag, we could still be looking at a confidence and supply deal rather than seeing the LibDems in government. If the Tories are unwilling to offer PR and the wider LibDem party blocks a deal without it, all bets could be off. Krishnan Guru-Murthy (C4 News) has sketched out a very different scenario which would follow Gordon Brown quitting:-

The process this would involve is so convoluted as to make it almost certainly impossible – but the theory goes that Gordon Brown resigns as Labour leader but not as prime minister, while Harriet Harman as caretaker leader negotiates with Nick Clegg. This would be on the basis that David Miliband will stand unopposed by any serious candidate as new Labour leader, so that the Lib Dems know exactly who they would go into government with eventually.

Once the deal is done Gordon Brown goes to the palace and advises the Queen that the caretaker Harriet Harman can form a government with the Lib Dems, then once Labour has its new leader in place she goes to the palace and advises the Queen that Miliband will be taking over as prime minister.

Guru-Murthy admits “it sounds either so mad as to be unworkable, or so intricately thought through as to be plausible. It also requires Ed Balls and Ed Miliband to give up their hopes of Labour leadership.” That is a big if…

Labour Leadership Fight Starts Next Week

Target GordonWhatever the formal line is in public, Gordon Brown is finished.  After Clegg’s rejection the Labour Party is hoping he will now quickly accept it and make way without any requirement for any unpleasantness.  John Mann obviously hasn’t got the memo and openly called for him to go yesterday.

Guido is quite surprised that David Miliband is such a hot favourite to be the next leader of the Labour Party.  He is somewhat handicapped by being the anointed Blair-Mandelson candidate, perhaps it is just because he is not Ed Balls or Harriet Harman.

Ed Balls is the Brownite kamikaze candidate, if you liked the last three years, you’ll love a Balls-led Labour Party.  He is now very weakened personally, his reputation and standing diminished by turning a safe Labour seat into a marginal requiring a recount on election night.  Despite Charlie Whelan’s Unite throwing union money and manpower behind him in a big way he was ominously unappealing to the public.  His characteristically graceless post-count speech with an aggressive “New Labour lives on” tone was authentic Balls and he did himself no favours  with it within the Labour Party.  All of which perhaps explains why he is behind Harriet Harman at the bookies.

Ed Miliband and Alan Johnson have some backers, but Guido wonders if they are really up for the fight.  Alastair Darling or Jack Straw might be a safe pair of hands until the next election if the Labour Party collectively really thinks we will have another in the autumnSources close to Hain say he won’t let his vanity get the better of him this time.

HARRIET4LEADERGuido has a few quid on Harriet.  She is her own woman, she isn’t tainted by being seen as the creature of  Blair and Mandelson like Miliband.  She is not an unpleasant Brownite bullying thug like Balls.  What she lacks in intellect she makes up for with determination and the fight in her.

She is not to be underestimated.

Tweet Predicting Election Test Confirms GIGO Principle

Guido has long criticised the predictive methodology of Tweetminster – they take the number of tweets and based on the positive or negative sentiment of the tweets, predict the related outcome.  When they predicted Labour would be the biggest party before the election Guido offered them a bet, they didn’t take him up on his offer.

Tweetminster predicted Esther Rantzen would win Luton South based on positive tweets for the fading celeb – the prediction garnered them a few headlines from gullible hacks.  Despite masses of media coverage Esther polled a mere 1,872 votes and lost her deposit.  Let us hear no more of the predictive ability of Twitter, it is snake-oil.

There is a long established mantra coined by George Fuechsel, an IBM engineer back in the days of mainframes, which was soon contracted to the acronym “GIGO” and can be applied here – Garbage In, Garbage Out.


Seen Elsewhere

What We Learned From the Referendum | FT
Scottish Crisis Moves South | Nick Wood
English Democrats Accidentally Celebrate Yes Victory | Pink News
Union In Its Current Form is Dead | Janan Ganesh
Labour Could Be Split in Two | Sun
Ashcroft Poll: Why Scotland Voted No | Buzzfeed
Boris: Change Barnett Formula | Sun
Cameron is Back | Dan Hodges
What Happens Now | James Kirkup
Cairo of the North | Quentin Letts
Labour are the Biggest Losers | Phil Collins


VOTER-RECALL
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Diane Abbott on the Daily Politics:

“Labour MPs will unite behind Ed Miliband, once we find out what our policies are.”



It was only a tiny tiny collision.


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