back to article How to turn votes into tax free cash

As Labour’s penultimate gamble – the budget – works its way through the system, professionals and dabblers alike are starting to size up the odds on the next election. There is tax-free money to be made – and lost as well – and whilst we’re never going to advocate betting the house, here are some pointers that anyone looking to …


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  1. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Pork Barrel Politics ...... Swines at the Trough with Cuckoos in the Nest.

    "A serious accident could befall David Cameron in the next 12 months:" ..... Err, given the contempt Mr Brown has shown the Military and the suffering they are forced to endure and would continue to endure, even when demobilised and abandoned in Civvy Street, for the Vanity of Fools, one imagines a PM without a Public mandate is much more a likely candidate for a serious accident/curious incident/unprecedented move.

    "The latest date on which an election may be held – barring military coup, or serious parliamentary tinkering " ...... Considering the amount of serious parliamentary tinkering going on to hide details of years of fiddling, does that increase or guarantee the likelihood of military intervention in the System? An injection of some Intelligence and a Takeover of Communications or some such Disciplined Engineered MasterPiece is not Difficult, is IT?

    Why are we waiting for an Immediate General Election to be called? Is IT a Silly Party Political Game one Plays, and some very Badly and QuITe Madly, at Everyone Else's Expense?

    MeThinks the Games can be Played Much Better than at Present, don't you ..... and with a Future Beta in AI should you not have an ARG Program of Your Own, Readily Available to Immediately Rock and Roll ..... Run.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next year = fail

    IMHO middle of this year is more likely .

    1. Look at the timing of gov policies.

    a. Stimulus package is timed to come in Feb onwards, it will have faded by next year and so will the jobs it temporarily creates.

    b. Government TV adverts fill the screens with their nanny messages

    c. Troops coming home mid year

    d. Urgent need to fix expenses, youtube.

    e. Economy growth numbers don't make sense. Leave it too late and that would be self evident.

    2. He cannot survive a leadership challenge, so one cannot be allowed to happen.

    a. He cannot reshuffle the cabinet too much because those ejected would turn on him.

    b. He needs to ditch Stasi Smith. but he needs her support more.

    c. He is trapped between Blairites wanting his removal and anti Blairites... wanting his removal.

    3. The dirty web campaign, dirty Mandelsons return etc, point to a coming election.

    If he left it till next year, it would likely be latest he could call an election and it means he has already lost the election in his head and is milking the job for everything he can get out of it.

    To do that he'd need all the support he can get, so he would keep his loyal supporters around him, regardless of their incompetences, corruptions and scandals.

    So I am expecting he will do a major reshuffle, and call and election quickly. Otherwise we'd be into internal fights to eject him and a catastrophic fail next year and he'd keep his supporters around him. So a major reshuffle would be another indicator, to me, of an imminent election.

  3. Carl

    John Smith's "replacement by Neil Kinnock"?

    John Smith *replaced* Neil Kinnock, and was in turn replaced by Tony Blair (following a brief interlude where Margaret Beckett was acting leader).

  4. Dale Le Page


    It was Tony Blair who replaced John Smith in 1994, not Kinnock.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reverse chronology...?

    " However, the death of John Smith in 1994 was a shock and it is likely that his replacement by Neil Kinnock as Labour leader did affect the subsequent general election. "

    Erm... shurely shome mishtake? Smith became leader after Kinnock resigned, and Smith was replaced by one Anthony Charles Lyton Blair. Who just happened to *win* the subsequent general election.

    That sort of inaccuracy kind of kills the article's credibility, drags its corpse outside and defacates in its open wounds.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Neil Kinnock replaced John Smith?

    "However, the death of John Smith in 1994 was a shock and it is likely that his replacement by Neil Kinnock as Labour leader did affect the subsequent general election."

    Neil Kinnock replaced John Smith? I think you mean Tony Blair replaced John Smith...

    Can't find the clip on YouTube where Neil Kinnock is told he is probably going to win the '92 election by a journo, and he foolishly expresses his delight in agreement. This coming just as the votes have just started to be counted...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    "However, the death of John Smith in 1994 was a shock and it is likely that his replacement by Neil Kinnock as Labour leader did affect the subsequent general election."

    Editing required!

  8. Richard

    A bit dodgy on the timeline

    Tony Blair replaced John Smith in 1994 after the latter's death. Smith had replaced Kinnock in 1992

  9. Paul M.
    Dead Vulture

    "Write about what you know"

    If you really think Neil Kinnock became Labour leader in 1994, perhaps it's time for another Extreme Porn article?

  10. John Ozimek
    Paris Hilton

    What can I say?

    Well, yes. I do know about the Labour succession. Honest.

    I cannot imagine what particular strain of pill I was on at the point when I reversed the order of leaders, presumably inflicting a theoretical Kinnockite government on the country in 1997. Now there's a thought! More openly socialist to begin with... but maybe not quite as self-confident as T Blair Esq.

    Since I appear to have lost this round comprehensively, let's try double or quits.

    Who immediately preceded David Steel as Liberal Party leader?

    Hmmmm. Wonders if that will catch anyone at all, since Lib Party leaders is probably such an obscure topic most of you will have to look it up anyway.

    Paris, cause she may make dumb mistakes, but she's a lot prettier to look at than me.

  11. Rich

    Further correction

    Callaghan's last date for an election was October 1979 (5 years after October 1974). He lost a motion of no-confidence in March after losing the support of the SNP. Had this not happened, he could have voluntarily called an election that spring, or waited until the early autumn.

  12. John Ozimek


    Constitutionally correct. Of course, the whole point was that in March 79 he absolutely had to due to the vote of no confidence.

    I won't forget that one in a hurry, since I was in Liverpool Edge Hill on the night when the vote went down. Was offered a (no-hope) Liberal seat to fight in the subsequent election about half an hour later - Newham South, if anyone wishes to go doing obscure research - and spent the next few weeks traipsing East London and keeping a look out for the National Front, who were targeting that seat, along with a few others, in the hope of a third place.

    Nasty campaign. Blair Peach died when a rally went bad in Southall. But there were a series of rallies that spring, including one in Newham, which might have gone equally bad.

    Anyway. Point taken about the constitutional issues - but I was thinking about the parliamentary scenario and (interesting question this) whether there is any way a government can continue after locing a vote of no confidence.

    I s'pose, technically, they can, since all a Prime Minister is required to do is assure the Monarch that they can command a majority for their legislative programme. No confidence votes don't - as far as I know - have any independent constitutional existence, especially as a government COULD call a second vote the day after losing a vote of confidence, on a slightly different motion.

    The other trick Callaghan may have missed (but here my memory is totally hazy) was maybe stepping down and letting in Healey as leader for the election campaign.

    That's something Brown might consider - or not, given that Harman is now Deputy - as a means to avoid in-fighting in the post-election chaos. Step down in ordinary circs, and the party descends into blood-letting. Do it with an election on the horizon, and the chances are you can have a big say in nominating your successor who would still need ratifying by vote, but...would be easier to elect by virtue of having done the job.

    In Callaghan's case, might have avoided the disaster of a Foot leadership...

    In Brown's case, it is possible that the only person likely to be a greater electoral liability is no gain there.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brown's successor

    Will not succeed him until after the next election.

    Labour will lose the next election and accordingly their "leader" will have to resign. It is the way of things. No-one who actually wants a real shot at the top job would take over now as they would just be pissing their future away for the chance to become a Trivial Pursuit question ("who was arguably the most pointless Prime Minister in the history of the UK?")

    None of the outsiders would be allowed to challenge Brown as that would really screw the party and at the moment it is highly likely that most Labour MPs are looking at ways to feather their nests for the next 12 months and then maximise their chances of individual re-election.

    So Gordon will remain until he loses, then he will resign and "reluctantly" the remaining Labour MPs will fight it out for the leadership, hoping that Cameron fucks up badly (likely) and that the voters forgive labour by the next election (unlikely).

  14. Dave


    What better way of killing the career of someone you don't like? Surrender the party leadership to them the week before you lose an election, and watch them squirm.

    Anyway, who in their right mind wants the leadership right now? Surely the sensible thing to do is wait through eight years of being in opposition, then grab the leadership and take credit when we start to get bored of the then current government.

  15. NogginTheNog

    Not feminists, but Stasi

    Wacky Jacqui getting the boot, well that's brought a smile to my face! But her evil twin HH becoming leader? Well at first that dismayed me, then I realised that the one thing the next leader of the Labour Party (in opposition) can be guaranteed of is to be nothing more than a soon-to-be-forgotten seat warmer, with little hope of ever making PM for real! Sweet.

    In my early teens I vowed I'd NEVER vote Tory ever in my life! Ah the foolishness of youth... ;-)

  16. Joe

    No rout in 1979.

    "Then, what was always predicted to be certain Labour defeat turned to absolute rout."

    Hardly. The tory majority was 49 seats, a clear, but not exactly thumping victory. Labour's share of the vote was 36.9%, more than any second-placed party has achieved since (and more than Labour won on in 2005).

    The rout came in 1983, after the Falklands war and Michael Foot's leadership.

  17. John Ozimek


    Maybe neither 1983 nor 1979 count as rout in quite the way 1997 did.

    In 1979, Labour lost 51 seats overall: in 1983, they lost 50 overall. The difference was that in the first year, their dip in the vote was relatively small: in the second it was much more massive.

    This compares to the wipeout of over half the conservative parliamentary party in 1997 (lost 178 seats).

    Another quirk of our system. What is scary is how well, assuming average performance, the Lib Dems have to do relative to Labour to supplant them as second party.

    On some predictors, you need something like Lib Dems on 28% vs. Labour on 18% before Lib Dems finally break through the second party barrier. Need a far lower swing to put Lib Dems ahead of the Tories.

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