TPM Reader DL
reports in on the Gordon Brown doings:
I am in the UK at present. I grew up here. The suggestion that Gordon Brown's government may not last the weekend was yesterday's news.
Some odious Blairite careerists, e.g. Blears, Purnell, have thrown their toys out of the pram. Good riddance.
Brown has structured a swift cabinet reshuffle. That much is becoming apparent in the last hour. It may be a weaker collection of characters, but enough heavy hitters like Mandelson, Darling, Miliband remain, with a few retreads and some interesting personalities such as Glenys Kinnocks getting on board, and Alan Sugar being made a Lord. Yes, there is widespread unhappiness among backbenchers, but rebellion there is not.
Brown survives is the story.
The subtext on how convincing the Conservative victory has been remains to be written, but local results so far suggest some voters walked away from them too (down 6% from the last local election). The full extent of the protest vote will be better known when the totals of the so called fringe parties, such as the Greens, UKIP etc. are tallied up on Sunday.
Brown does not need to go to the country until June 3rd, 2010. I would bet the farm that he will take as much of that remaining 12 months as possible. Brown has the opportunity to spend a year on the world stage with Obama. He's not going to walk away from that history. (And why David Miliband relinquish an opportunity to be involved in some Obama inspired modus vivendi in Israel and Palestine?)
The Labour Party will not win the next election, but it can work to avoid being obliterated, and, if anything, today's results suggest that the Tories may struggle to get more than a 20 or 30 seat majority. Brown knows the more time he has with Barack, the better.