Brown’s Bubble Bounces On

Forever Blowing Bubbles?

Gordon Brown: Forever Blowing Bubbles?

Much as predictions can be dangerous territory: It now looks as if Labour have held on in the Glenrothes by election.

Couple of things if this is confirmed. It now seems clear that Brown will lead Labour into the next election. When? Sooner rather than later. Spring? Possibly.

Has some of the shine gone off Mr Salmond’s Scottish Government? These are strange times when both Brown and Salmond go into these by elections as leaders of governments. Brown’s come out on top this time. A long term trend? I have my doubts if, in Westminster elections, the SNP can keep up the momentum of Holyrood.

The Scottish Labour Party is not forgiven, far from it, but might Labour still be the overwhelming choice of Scotland at Westminster? Possibly.

This is a good result for Brown and Labour: A by election win at this stage in a third term government with an unelected Prime Minister at a time of global catastrophe is an achievement. And it will further dent David Cameron’s confidence.

As I write Nicola Sturgeon is turning cartwheels on BBC 2 trying to rewrite the history of this by election campaign. There is no doubt that Salmond thought he could win this. Talk of slashed majorities is not a comfort.

Salmond’s honeymoon is now over. He’ll need now to reframe the debate. Where to go? He’s unlikely to look at this result and gird his loins in preparation for pushing the independence agenda forward.

Far from striking a blow against the union the people of Glenrothes have pumped a little more air into that old Brown bubble. They’ve also delivered a kick in the guts to Salmond. His arc of prosperity rhetoric is dead. He no longer acts as a conduit for protest votes because he’s in power himself.

There also appears to be no sign of any lift in the Tory vote. That might be the good news for the Nats. If Cameron does win big at the next election then Scotland will not only feel disenfranchised but he may find some unlikely allies in an England centric Tory Party.

One thing is clear: Tonight’s result will have further shifted Cameron and Salmond from their comfort zones. And that ridiculous grin of Gordon’s might just be becoming ever more genuine.

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3 Responses to Brown’s Bubble Bounces On

  1. Interesting says:

    Salmond’s honeymoon had to end some time – he’s got away with too much because there is no effective opposition. Has he got the stomach to push the independence agenda now? I don’t think we can read too much into this for Brown although it seems clear that the General Election won’t be a foregone conclusion now.

  2. jimmy jehosophat says:

    Many say that the SNP do better when people are feeling good about themselselves. That has, in my experience, probably true.
    However, when the recession/depression starts to really bite in 2009 people should remember one thing: it was Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson et al who got us into this mess in the first place with their (continued) slavish adoration of Thatcherism and the free market conmen who now look like the bunch of snake oil salemen they always were.
    And those economies which had a bit more regulation and policed the workings of capitalism a bit more strictly will be the ones which will be less affected.

  3. Tammy Shanks says:

    I am a teacher / yearbook advisor. One of my students found your site by searching for bubble images. She would like to use the above picture of bubbles in our yearbook. Would you please send me information about this image so that I can contact the correct person to obtain permission to use the image?

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