With a General Election having to take place within the next 14 weeks and the Conservative lead narrowing in the opinion polls, speculation has once again started about whether Gordon Brown will call an early election after the Tory spring forum in Brighton. It was of course during another Conservative conference in the Autumn of 2007 that many people anticipated the Prime Minister to call a snap election only for him to bottle it; a characteristic which has gone on to epitomise a man who after nearly 3 years in office has demonstrated that he is ‘As spineless as a Jellyfish’.
The Tories and Labour will be focusing on past victories from two decades ago in the run up to the campaign. Back in 1992 an unelected Prime Minister was seeking to win his party an unprecedented fourth term on the back of some of the worst local council results the party had seen. The country was in recession, unemployment was rising and the government were still unpopular for introducing the Poll tax which contributed to the downfall of Margaret Thatcher. Fast forward 18 years and you have another unelected Prime Minister aiming to win his party a fourth term on the back of disastrous results in the European elections. The country has just come out one of the deepest recessions for over 70 years with many economists speculating that we may in fact have a double slip recession.
However the reason why it is impossible for Gordon Brown to achieve the same feat as John Major did was the economic crisis Britain faced in the early 1990s was not caused by that government but was in fact the result of a global recession. In 1992 the electorate realised that there was only one party which could steer them out of that recession and they were proved right as we had the longest period of economic growth this country has ever seen. A decade later, Britain has suffered the longest recession in its history and of any other country in the G20 due to the irresponsible management of our economy by the man who boasted that he had ended ‘Boom and Bust’. And it is for this reason, plus the fact that Labour have demonstrated they are unable to come up with the radical and neccessary policies this country needs, that contrary to what the polls predict Gordon Brown will lose the election.
On the other hand David Cameron will be looking to replicate Labour’s landslide victory in 1997. A young leader who had modernised and rejuvinated his party was up against a weak Prime Minister, in charge of a government which had been in power for far too long. The mood in the country was similar to how it is now; people were desperate for change and realised that the only way they could achieve this was through a new government. However the difference is that in 1997 the public rather unknowingly opted for change for the worse whilst in 2010 people will opt for change for the better.