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Monday, June 07, 2004

TONY BLAIR IS GOING TO BE GOING Back quite a while, in my new year's predictions I wrote that:

We'll be saying goodbye to Tony Blair as Prime Minister. I'm not sure yet why, it's just a hunch. Heart attack? Back-bench rebellion? Will Labour figure that even Michael Howard can't dent their power and decide on a splurge of tax and spend the Blair won't go along with, but for which Gordon Brown will be quite ready for? Let's see, but he's going.
Well, he isn’t quite gone yet, and in fact may well outlast this year after all, but if George Osborne is right with his analysis he won’t be going any further
Here is what I shall now call (cue drum roll) the ‘13 Keys to Number 10’. Some are lifted directly from the Lichtman questions where they are relevant to British politics, while others are my own home-grown questions. I’ve checked back over 30 years of elections and if the sitting Prime Minister can lay claim to six or more, then he or she wins. If not, then it’s time to get the removals van in.
Do go and have a look at it in full. It also explains why Bush is pretty definitely going to win a second term. On our side of the Big Pond Osborne concludes:
So what about 2005 — the next election? We don’t know all the variables yet. Iraq may turn out to be a great success, and I hope it does. The economy may be driven by oil prices into recession, although I hope it isn’t. Blair may be replaced by Brown, which will mean Labour gains a key for changing leader but loses another one because it doesn’t have a prime minister with charisma. We shall see. But on my current count, Tony Blair holds just four keys. It's time he got the phone number of a good removals firm.
l'd be surprised if for once my gut feeling and predictive powers in things political ahd proved right for once.

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