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Political reform: The key facts

Nick Robinson | 11:12 UK time, Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Gordon Brown is due to give a speech this afternoon, promising to stage a democracy day in 2011 if Labour is re-elected. That will be 100 years after the Liberal leader Lloyd George's great confrontation with the House of Lords.

Houses of Parliament

• Few, if any, ministers believe Labour can win an outright majority in this election.

• Labour could be the largest party in the House of Commons even if the Tories are well ahead in the opinion polls.

• Nick Clegg says the party with the biggest mandate would have the right to govern. He never says whether that means the party with more seats or more votes. The pollster Peter Kellner estimates that the Tories could gain two million more votes than Labour in England and still get the same number of seats.

• Nick Clegg is terrified of being seen to prop up an unpopular Labour government led by Gordon Brown which could trigger, or be forced to hold, another election at the drop of a hat.

• Hey Presto. A promise of a fixed-term Parliament - that is a limit on the prime minister's power to call an election - and of referendums on voting reform and House of Lords reform that may just change Nick Clegg's mind. And if not his, it may change that of Liberal Democrat activists.

Simple really.


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Bread and circuses

  • Comment number 2.

    I don't believe him.

  • Comment number 3.


    More Dog Whistle politics from Brown.

    Only the Poodle this time is Clegg and the Lib Dems.

    Why can't they deal with the elephant in the room the Greece style economic situation that he has created.

    We have to keep wasting money so we can put up tax on Jobs to secure the recovery.

    Complete rubbish as usual avoiding the real issue.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    What ever happened to the aged old practice of waiting to see what was actually said? There were some faux pas in Mr Brown's speach yesterday which appear to have vanished. How about finding them? Think the FT had something about it.

    If reporters and political editors waited and reported and edited then this would not happen. Something would be NEWS not what is thought will be said.

    So Nick et al let's wait and see what comes out not what the spin doctors tell you he will say. There could be a world of difference!!!!

  • Comment number 6.

    Not going to happen, old bean.

    Taxi for Brown!

  • Comment number 7.

    A democracy day in 2011? Well that's really going to focus our minds.

    Perhaps Brown should legislate that we will still have a democracy by then.

    Fixed term parliaments we would all go along with for who could tolerate the uncertainty that has been present over the last two years with his will he or won't he call an election.

    In a crisis everything but the kitchen sink being thrown at an economy to ensure there will still be one when the election is eventually called.

    I'd go along with getting rid of exhausted PM's too after a maximum of two terms in office.

    I suppose Gordon's been demoted to the simple stuff now so he doesn't tire too easily while Lord HA HA does his vote for me stuff and Charlie Whelan is going his own way forming the next Unite Labour Party.

    Confused when it started. Even more confused now and it's only the second day.

  • Comment number 8.

    If there's electoral reform I'd like to see us change the constitution and get just a little more American: we elect the prime minister, not just the party but the bloke who wants to run the shambles.

  • Comment number 9.

    a fixed term means GB could not be removed for another 4/5 years depending on the term, more Mugabee/stalinist style dictatorship
    coming our way.

    wakeup smell the coffee
    wakeup smell the coffee

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    It strikes me as an odd time to bring in a proposal for a fixed term Parliament - we are faced with the prospect of a Hung Parliament which fails to really decide on much at all, would we really want a weak Government to limp on for up to four years?

  • Comment number 12.

    How about devolution for England, to match those in Scotland and Wales.

    It will put a stop to Scottish MP's deciding what's best for the English. They are nothing more than Celtic colonialist.

  • Comment number 13.

    I would welcome fixed term parliaments - a good idea for all, 4 years is about right; enough time to get things done but not too short a term

    I think that voters should be able to 'vote out' their MP at any time during a parliament if they have been found wanting. We should also be able to force the government of the day to abandon/reform policies if they attract 'x' number of votes against them via the No 10 website; as with the online petitions, this would be a good start

    We should be able to gain a referendum on policies that prove to be unpopular with the public instead of the constant 'we know better' attitude of the present lot - you know, some of that listening to the public stuff that MP's love to harp on about but privately can't stand

    Some form of proportional representation would also be nice - but then that's heading towards a democratic state and we wouldn't want that would we ??

  • Comment number 14.

    I am assuming this will be the same as the EU referendum he promised

  • Comment number 15.

    we are so late about even the politicians talking about reform. After all the fear is a loss of power and the seat.
    I think that reform is necessary for the future of the country and in particular money in my pocket.
    After all is this not the view of those who want our votes?

    Sorry but I am one of the cynics out there armed with a vote to be had.....

  • Comment number 16.

    Didn't Labour promise to look at voting reform before the 1997 election?
    Didn't Labour promise that there would be a referendum on the European Constitution? They will promise anything if they think it will get them a few more votes. The reality however is that after the election these promises are very quickly forgoton.

  • Comment number 17.

    Says something about the sad state of affairs our country is in when the "leader" has to announce a democracy day to celebrate and highlight it. In a true democracy this shouldn't be needed.

    Still only a month left of these amazing initiatives...

  • Comment number 18.

    To empower democracy in this country we need honourable men and women who are ready to put country before self and party as they represent their constituents and do their bidding in Parliament.

    A fixed term, so no fiddling with election dates trying to seek advantage, would help; as well as conditions of service that enforce full-time and honest representation, and enable 'recall' of any MP who, in their constituents' opinion, fails in any way to do his duty.

  • Comment number 19.

    #8 I think we need less Americain influence thank you, that is many
    of the causes of the problems in the last 13 years

    Remember when the Time came the Tories ousted Lady T and
    had an election

    Zanu_LIEBOUR did not, QED

  • Comment number 20.

    This is a holding operation for Labour.Anything less than outright victory would be construed as defeat by the party,parliament and the country.

    In uncertain times the best tactic is delay,Fabius Maximus used it to save Rome,Dowding to fight the Luftwaffe to a standstill over Southern England.

    This tactic is embodied in the bruised person of Brown while his patrician opponent eagerly invites a future which is yet unknown.

    The public are unconvinced,either by escape to the future or retreat to the past.Neither invites hope or optimism.

    The combination of weakness at the centre with an unliquidated economic crisis means we are at a crossroads whoever emerges as the largest party.

    Who will best manage the transformation where core economic and state institutions no longer function in an orderly and predictable manner? Will the public choose the agile yachtsman with an infinite capacity for manoeuvre but out of date charts,or the stolid Captain Bligh figure whose personality invites mutiny but has the best hope of reaching dry land?

  • Comment number 21.

    "Gordon Brown is due to give a speech this afternoon, promising to stage a democracy day in 2011 if Labour is re-elected"

    Why should the public believe ANYTHING that Brown says, particularly on the topic of 'democracy' - a topic for which he has shown nothing but contempt?

    He promised a referendum on the European Constitutional Treaty, but then went and signed it without any mandate from the people.

    Far from lecturing us on 'democracy', he should hang his head in shame. He should also be charged with treason.

  • Comment number 22.

    What about the West Lothian Question, will Gordon answer that one.

  • Comment number 23.

    "A promise of a fixed-term Parliament"

    No thank you!!!

    The ability of the House to pass a motion of no confidence thereby triggering an early general election is a valuable safeguard against tyranny.

    I would rather see the ability of constituents to recall their MP and sack them on the spot if they have broken a manifesto pledge (eg the European constitutional referendum)

  • Comment number 24.

    The real problem with political reform is that it does not address the simple reality of the difference between concensus politics which can result in a mish-mash of inefective but popular political decisions as compared to strong oppositional politics which does produce strong government initiatives even if the decisions are good, wise or not. By the same token neither concensus nor oppositional politics provide for honesty and truthfulness in politicians.

    The UK is drifting into consensus style governments as the political parties all promise much but deliver little of pre-Electiion promises after the elections have been held. So much so that we now have, with the three main political parties, politicians often discussing WHEN and by HOW MUCH they will address the humungous UK budget deficit but never honestly admitting to HOW BIG the problem really is or HOW they are going to tackle the deficit - promises of public spending cuts or threats that the other side might raise taxes is not being honest as it is making illusory promises as the reality is that the citizens of the UK need to know that in the not-too-distant future their reality will be that puplic services WILL be cut, taxes will ALSO rise and that, sooner rather than later, Interest Rates will sky rocket with resulting austerity, poverty and homes and jobs being lost.

    The really honest politician simply does not exist in the UK either in the current FPTP or in any future PR system as politicians say one thing but will always mean something else whenever they are challenged if expediency permits them to get off the hook from having to speak the truth for all to hear.

  • Comment number 25.

    Yes, the Lib Dems in a Hanging Parliament; the politics of this are fascinating. Firstly (big picture) their long game ought to be to supplant Labour as the main opposition party to the Tories. If Scotland (and Wales and NI even) were to split off, then the overall size of “the Left” reduces and there’s probably only room for one. Once they’ve made it to Official Opp status, they can then really start to think of winning elections outright and governing (England) alone. All that’s a way away (and by no means easy to pull off) but in the meantime a very poor Labour performance is what they want. They should therefore attack the Tories as much as they possibly can without throwing away their own seats in the South West and affluent West of London. By doing this, they’ll pick up people who are left wing inclined but disillusioned with Labour. Fair few of them about. As regards this election, if such a strategy works well it will lead to a decisive Tory win. Well fine ... the Lib Dems then continue their “supplant Labour” project. If they get, say, 75 seats and get close to Labour in the popular vote, they’ll be rocking. It probably won’t happen to that extent this time, however, and this brings us to the HP question. Might still be a small Tory win of course – in which case, no HP and no sauce – but let’s say we DO get the hung one. Clegg’s on record as planning to support whichever of the two main parties has the “biggest mandate”. Okay. But I reckon Gordon Brown will be so keen to stay at Number Ten (and keep cheeky chops out) that he’ll offer the earth to Nick Clegg. As the other Nick (our Nick) says ... full PR, fixed term Ps, couple of big jobs maybe, whatever it takes. I think Brown will do this even if the Tories win more seats. And I think Clegg will say yes. He’ll weigh up the long game I’ve outlined against the chance of (shared) power via PR in a much shorter timeframe and he’ll plump for the latter. Bird in the hand. Big relief for Labour because (even with the smaller Left in an independent England) under PR a combo of Lib and Lab should trump the Conservatives. For the same reason, a terrible outcome for the Cons. Like coming 4th and securing a Champions League spot only for the rules to change to top 3. A little unfair in many ways but, you know, that’s how it goes sometimes. Still leaves a problem for Clegg though, if it pans out this way. He’ll be supporting the party which does NOT have the biggest mandate – unless Labour win the most seats, which is unlikely. Even if they do, the Tories will almost certainly beat them in the popular vote and this actually makes Clegg’s problem more acute. Because then, Labour only have more seats because of the vagaries of our FPTP electoral system – so Clegg will be levering in PR by pushing aside the party (the Cs) who will have “won” on a PR basis, and he’ll be ousting FPTP off the back of the very flaws in FPTP he complains about. To justify this will be quite a test of his political communication skills.

  • Comment number 26.

    It will be interesting to see what Tory or Labour inclined "arm chair experts" make of both their parties' grubby deal this week to fix up the expenses, and stitch up political reform. Nic Clegg should decline to deal with either of these dinosaurs. They stink to high heaven!

  • Comment number 27.

    Who needs Party Election Broadcasts when you've got the BBC's News Department in your pocket?

    .....Makes that four million pounds (of recycled taxpayers money) left in the warchest from UNITE go a long way, doesnt it?

    Theres more chance of knitting fog than seeing any realistic electoral reform in the UK. The only way true electoral reform will come in this country - that isnt loaded in favour of one of the vested interests - is at the barrel of a gun.

    And considering that isnt likely to happen because theres no-one who either can do it or can be bothered - you're going to be stuck with more of the same. All this is just pure dog-whistling.

  • Comment number 28.

    If by some miracle Gordon Brown could get about 36% of the vote, he might scrape back in with a small majority despite the fact that 64% of the electorate didn't want him. In such a scenario, you'd hear nothing from him about "democracy" then. Caledonian Comment

  • Comment number 29.


    Who indeed Bryhers.... the one thing you didnt say was who "it", whatever it may be is best for?

    Best for the nation, or best for the Labour party or best for Brown?

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who needs convincing further on the synergies between the three....

  • Comment number 30.

    #20 Bryhers,

    I like the yachting analogy but not sure i'm convinced we can make dry land that easily with Gordon in charge. I don't reckon George Osborne is much up to the task either for what it's worth

    There really isn't that much between the two parties at the moment with regards to tax plans and public expenditure; whoever gets in will need to make cuts and this will mean jobs - hopefully not front line jobs but middle management, yet I think that wish is in vain.

    It's a choice of 'more of the same' or 'more of the same with a different tie' at the minute. I want a government that will cut back on central control of our lives and the big brother attitude - Labour isn't the way forward in that respect, they have too much reliance on the state controlling everything and are obsessed with spying on everyone 'in the interests of security' which basically just *****cks

  • Comment number 31.

    Nick says "Nick Clegg is terrified of being seen to prop up an unpopular Labour government led by Gordon Brown"

    Pity Clegg wasn't terrified of propping up an unpopular Labour government when he had a chance to block Brown pushing through the European constitutional treaty without the promised referendum.

    By siding with Brown and breaking his own manifesto pledge, Clegg has shown that he and the Lib Dems are not fit for purpose.

  • Comment number 32.

    12. At 12:00pm on 07 Apr 2010, skynine wrote:
    "How about devolution for England, to match those in Scotland and Wales.
    It will put a stop to Scottish MP's deciding what's best for the English. They are nothing more than Celtic colonialist."
    I couldn't agree more skynine. I want Scottish independence from Westmonster, and the same would be good for England (real England, not the London/south east "England" so beloved by Westmonster). Real Scottish MPs (SNP and Green) don't vote on English only issues, they abstain. Only the "Scottish" unionist party lackies vote on English issues.

  • Comment number 33.

    Please could we have some actual analysis of what HAS happened rather than the vague promise of something happening at some point in the future.

    The German propaganda ministry in late 1944/ early 1945 issued daily reports of new Wunderwaffe ( super weapons) but most of these weapons reached the combat theatre too late, and in too insignificant numbers (if at all) to have a military effect.

    Broon's "wunderwaffe" announcements don't fool the volk anymore.

    Isn't the real question why has there been so very little constitutional reform in the last 13 years ?

  • Comment number 34.


    Interesting scenario, but you're relying a lot on "ifs" and forgetting the consequences of some of those actions and ignoring the possibility of how other events related to those "ifs" might affect decisions.

    Were Scotland to declare full independence, its likely to take the lifetime of a parliament to unpick the union. And do the Welsh want independence in anything like the same way that the SNP says the Scots do?

    And as for Northern Ireland... devolved assembly is one thing, but if you think the unionists would let their fingers be prised off the union without bloodshed, you're (dangerously) kidding yourself. The only party that would be virtually wiped out would be Labour.

  • Comment number 35.

    The reforms we need actually relate to the fact that politicians cannot be trusted to carry through what they promise when pleading for our votes.

    MPs should be our delegates, not our representatives.

    If they break a manifesto promise, they should be instantly sacked, triggering a by-election. They should also have to repay their salaries and expenses.

    We should also end this 30-year rule nonsense. The public are entitled to know exactly what their MPs are doing on their behalf and have full access to papers, minutes of meetings and accounts.

    Any attempt to cover up the facts or mislead the public should be a criminal offence.

  • Comment number 36.

    How nice that Gordon is promising a referendum on electoral reform.

    Wonder if that will be like the referendum he promised on the Lisbon treaty?

  • Comment number 37.

    Nick, can you get this concept of "facts" drilled in to your colleagues at the BBC? Three times today I have heard a proposed referendum on the adoption of AV for westminster described as a vote on "proportional representation" - AV is *not* PR. It isn't even close to PR. It reinforces the tyranny of the majority. The BBC is meant to be impartial right? it is is also meant to be accurate. No more references to "labour's referendum on PR" please.

  • Comment number 38.

    I find that I am in the interesting position of considering voting Lib Dem for the first time in my life.

    And really it is down to the entire issue of political, or more to the point, parliamentary reform.

    I fail to see the way out of our stagnant political system, and the lack of usable talent, without fundamental reform. For me reform means:

    1. PR
    2. Policy creation from select committees (not just reviewing policy)
    3. Smaller house
    4. Fully elected second chamber
    5. A recall system for bad-boy/girl MPs and Lords
    6. A less adversarial design to the commons (sadly that will mean a new building - eek, the cost!)
    7. Non party local political offices where any member of the public can go and be listened to. Sort of constituency office on steroids - larger, permanent site, properly staffed, clearly non politically biased. Although MPs always say they represent ALL their constituents, it is difficult to believe that often. Vast numbers of people do not know who their MP is!

    My problem is that the Labour party are only tinkering with the edges of reform and the Tories will kick it into the long grass as fast as they can if they win outright power.

    I know the Lib Dems cannot hope to win, but a significant increase in their power base might do enough of the trick that the other parties will HAVE to listen to the need for reform.

  • Comment number 39.

    Whats this, Prezza dropping himself in it AGAIN???

    “Parties may wish to harm a competitor who advertises in the same market by clicking on their ads. The perpetrators do not profit directly but force the advertiser to pay for irrelevant clicks, thus weakening or eliminating a source of competition. As with vandalism, there is an array of motives for wishing to cause harm to either an advertiser or a publisher, even by people who have nothing to gain financially. Motives include political and personal vendettas. These cases are often the hardest to deal with, since it is difficult to track down the culprit.”

    And theres Prezza, openly admitting conspiracy to commit fraud... not particularly difficult to "track down the culprit" in this case, but as usual nothing will happen about it.

    Until Brown or his successors eliminate these types of thick as planks crooks from their own benches, they can never never be trusted to be serious about political reform... wasters...

  • Comment number 40.

    Desception the perfect word to describe GB + ZaNu_Liebour and a wasted
    13 years plus wasting the next 20 years correcting the problems

  • Comment number 41.

    Well after PMQ's at least we now know where we stand.

    It's back to labour big government with jobs being sacrificed in the private sector with NI increases to fund a bigger bloated public sector.

    Why didn't Brown tell us that in the first place instead of pretending the increase was to pay back debt?

    Not that 6 billion is going to make much difference to the public sector apart from filling a little bit of the pensions black hole.

    The polls are all over the place but that is just confirming that the voters are all over the place.

    If someone doesn't clarify the state of the economy soon we will need a mathematical genius to sort out the combinations of smaller parties gaining seats and just who will have the balance of power.

    Will it be the Irish The Scots and even the Welsh.

    That is something that should focus all of their minds with only a few short weeks to go.

  • Comment number 42.

    Can someone tell me why was Mandelson in a prime position at the time of yesterdays announcement. Has no one told him or GB he is a no one, forget him, he was and is no more.
    A fixed term parliament, not before time. 12 months would be great, then we could see the lies and do something about it much more quickly. Another worthwhile idea, parliament to be formed on the number of votes cast for any party. Why not its ludicrous that a country can be governed on the number of seats, not number of votes.

  • Comment number 43.

    #32 X_Sticks

    "Real Scottish MPs (SNP and Green) don't vote on English only issues, they abstain."

    Why do you say only SNP and Green members of Parliament are 'real'? Didn't all the others get elected?

    We have a Scottish Labour Prime Minister and a Scottish Labour Chancellor.
    Neither of them can vote on Scottish issues affecting their own constituencies as they are not members of the Scottish Parliament.

    Yet both of them can decide English issues.

  • Comment number 44.

    I'm a pure lefty (Bet you'd have never guessed!) so naturally the Labour party is my home; despite that it is too central for my real lefty tendancies and instincts but I appreciate that hard left (and hard right) politics doesn't work in this country. The majority of the country have left wing tendancies, it is why the Tory's poll ratings rarely exceed low 40% and naturally stand at just over 1/3 of the electorate. I wouuld happily swap my Red vote to a vote of any colour if that party promises to end the FPTP electoral system we use. Okay, we are more likely to naturally have hung parliaments the majority of the time; and there will be those that decry hung parliaments as weak. But there are numerous established and powerful nations that thrive despite no one political party having a working majority. Why?
    Well to me the answer is simple. Co-operation. Two parties working together means consensus and that brings with itself a kind of harmony whereby any new laws or statutes are considered and sensible. Neither co-operating paty could introduce a piece of legislation too far left or right without the other consent which of course would not be forthcoming. This is not weak government; this is a government that is doing the will of the majority of the electorate.
    I pray for a hung parliament so that Nick Clegg can side with who-so-ever promises to deliver the end of FPTP in favour of AV or, hopefully, full PR. Okay, we may get some BNP loonies or some Jedi Knights in parliament but that is a small price to pay for having a goverment that would have to be concerned for the will of the majority less they lose their ability to govern effectively as the co-operation of a second party with the balance of power vanishes.
    So, if Labour and the Libs promise electoral reform in the form of AV or full PR then whichever looks likely to keep the Etonian Toff out of No 10 in my home consituency (I believe it will be red) will get my vote.

  • Comment number 45.

    All these about to be broken "promises" spurted out like a gaitlin gun
    what have they been going for 13 years , other than recking the economy
    and giving the BBC above inflation rises in the licence tax to spread ZaNU_liebour propaganda

  • Comment number 46.

    More soundbites, empty promises and meaningless carp, they promised this in 1997

    What I want to know is, How is NOT taking tax out of Peoples pockets going to take £6billion out of the Economy?

    Why should I believe Brown, Mandelson, Balls, Darling etc none of whom have a jot of experience in the "real" world and not even ran a whelk stall over 70 leading business men ??

    Answers please Sagamix

  • Comment number 47.

    Saga 25

    Several difficulties with your New Dawn Lib-Dem thinking;Firstly their electoral support is the most volatile of the three main parties.In today`s "Times" 77% of those who "may" vote Lib-Dem "may" also vote for someone else.

    This pattern typifies Lib-Dem support in previous elections,the reason for this is that interest/knowedge of politics is significantly weaker in Lib-Dem voters than other parties,and this accounts for the surge in their support in election campaigns as they become exposed to political content in press and television.

    Interestingly,it is not the case that centrist attitudes on health,education or welfare are stronger among LIb-Dems,they have the same spectrum of left,right and centre opinions as supporters of other parties.They critical difference is they hold their views less firmly and on the basis of less information.Hence their volatility.

    Lacking a core of ideological principle which drives the other parties forward, their mass support lacks firmness and commitment. As I have said before,they are a spectrum of opinion not a government in waiting.

  • Comment number 48.

    Why do we have Scottish (as in the constituencies, of course) MPs at Westminster and even more Scottish MPs at Holyrood? Scotland has a total population approximately equivalent only to that of London! Why does it need so many expensive (and, largely, useless) politicians?

    Surely, in this enlightened age, we should have one set of Scottish MPs who can work at Holyrood for Scottish-only business and attend Westminster (video-link would do - save a bit of cash) for cross-border business? Sames goes for Wales and NI.

    Huge reduction in the cost of damned politicians and those we must have can focus on national interests - except for cross-border issues (which, really, should only be Defence and Revenues).

  • Comment number 49.

    19. At 12:13pm on 07 Apr 2010, IR35_SURVIVOR wrote:

    "Remember when the Time came the Tories ousted Lady T and
    had an election"


    You seem to have convieniently forgotten the 1 and a half year gap between these two events.
    Thatcher resigned 22nd November 1990
    The general election was on 9th April 1992

    Major had the election in 1992 because like Brown the term was ending naturally - we would have had an election by June 1992 anyway and April was beneficial timing as things were not likely to improve if he left it later. i.e. like Brown he waited as long as he could.

  • Comment number 50.

    Voters living in our England can enjoy a Democracy Day on 6th May 2010.

    All they have to do is vote for 'any of the others'.

    Democracy England 2010.

    Simple really.

  • Comment number 51.

    I thought May 6th was the day for democracy...

  • Comment number 52.

    Democracy day. Love it. And no doubt Brown will do one of his YouTube efforts, send lots of tweets, and invite lots of celebs...
    Oh, plus democracy wrist bands anyone?

  • Comment number 53.

    Brown has not been honest.

    I think he should get four years.

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 55.

    13. mightychewster

    I like the cut of your jib, but you & I know that this has nothing to do with making the political system more accessible to Joe six pack.
    This is all about Brown making early attempts to appease the Lib’ Dem’s in the unlikely scenario of a hung Parliament.
    Since when has Brown ever cared about the opinions of the general public – until now that is.
    Still, if it gets electoral reform back on the agenda, then I’m all for it.
    Like Nick points out “The pollster Peter Kellner estimates that the Tories could gain two million more votes than Labour in England and still get the same number of seats”.
    Proof, if ever it was needed, that the current system is not fit for purpose.
    Surely it’s time for reform?

  • Comment number 56.

    Poor old sagamix

    the froth he is working himself up into about the prosepcts of a hung parliament.

    The endless monologue about the fascinating possibilities of a LibLab coalition endlessly at war with itself.

    Don't waste tyour energy folks; as Cameron has reminded people today the PM has ruined us all though the pensions fiasco; the new national insurance tax on jobs and his inability to supply our troops with the necessary equipment.

    I suspect there will be an avalanche of business leaders coming out in favour of tory proposals as the weeks go by; Brown is a dead man walking. His mealy mouthed protestations about beloved newlabour jobsworths in the police foce, docotrs, teachers, nurses; it nearly had me in tears. I didn't realise how lucky we are. If only we could have five more years of this man preaching form the opposition benches about the 'legacy' of newlabour being ripped to shreds by baby eating tories.

    It's all too sad that these comics won;t be around for much longer to have us rolling in the aisles with their rhetoric.

    Taxi for Brown!

  • Comment number 57.

    Oh the irony of it....a democracy day on reforming the political processes, from Gordon (no need for a referendum on the EU constitution - (oopps treaty) and I've stuffed my cabinet full of House of Lords appointees) Brown!!

    Lets put it another way...why should we believe anything Brown says...

    This is a man who had a key part to play in the development of the Labour manifestos of 1997,2001 and 2005 - the ones that promised Electoral Reform, House of Lords reform and a vote on the EU Constitution (later the EU Treaty). He has also been number 2 or number 1 in the government for the past 13 years.

    Let us that over last 13 years, we (the voting public) were served up by these champions of democracy, the following...

    a promise (in 1997) that an future Labour Government would be whiter than white (a reference to the Major Government) - the numerous examples only served to prove that words were cheap;

    a Commission led by Roy Jenkins on Electoral Reform - the findings/report long since put on the shelf, gathering dust and forgotten about;

    HoL reform that favoured the Labour Party with appointees and the joke that was "Peoples'Peers" - supposedly there was going to be a mythical Stage 2;

    Brown sneaking off to sign the Lisbon Treaty in private with as little fanfare as possible and NO referendum!!;

    A revamp of the Lord Chancellors Office without proper due consultation or discussion;

    The most corrupt bunch of parliamentarians since the demise of the "Rotten Boroughs" - protected by a speaker that was paid off with a peerage. A Prime Minister that tried to come up with his own proposals that were pathetic, did not address the issues and showed how out of touch he was. Then finally, the Leader of the Commons (HH herself), taking to the House watered down proposals as recommended by Kelly.

    ....or maybe Gordo was asleep while all this was going on (much like his knowledge of the lead up to the Iraq War).

    All we the voting public want is for:

    The corrupt to be dealt with properly;
    For members of both houses to live by the same rules as those who do not benefit from the political gravy train;
    For nobody to ever be able to consider they are above the same laws as the rest of us;
    For members of both houses to be publicly and properly accountable;
    Politicians to be accountable to those who vote for them.

    So, please stop the pandering to the Lib Dems and less of this rubbish of offering a Democrarcy Day. Let's hear about the issues that are of real concern to the voting pubic rather than those issues that exercise the political anoraks and Liberal Democrats amongst us.

    Or does the raising of this issue on Day 2 of the campaign just serve to confirm just how tired, and lacking in any real ideas Labour are??

  • Comment number 58.

    BDZ @ 34,

    Cheers. Plenty other factors one can bring into play, all of them interesting. Especially the Scottish angle; Salmond with some leverage would be VERY interesting. I have little appetite (as I think you know) for English independence - sorry John C! - but one has to accept there's at least a possibility of it coming to pass (in time) via default; by others breaking off. Any case, by the by, I just wanted to highlight this particular aspect of our politics - the Lib Dem one. And on that subject I have to say that Nick Clegg had a fabulous PMQs today. You probably won't believe me (and that's fine) but I could well be giving him (or his Party rather) the very great privilege of my vote on 6/5.

  • Comment number 59.

    Brown is only interested in reducing the voting age to 16 because a poll said that because the education system was now so inneffective most of them would vote Labour.

  • Comment number 60.

    Yawn. Brown embracing political reform? Drowning man clutching at straws methinks.

    Believe it? no. Trust him to deliver? No chance.

  • Comment number 61.

    The NI increase can be summarised as follows:

    Under the Tories, that 2% will stay in the hands of business and employees. they can spend it, they can invest it in the business, they can save it or pay off debt. All good things.

    Under labour, they will find a new wall to wizz it up against. This, they will say, is a 'good' thing as by increasing government waste, there is more government waste that can be cut.

  • Comment number 62.

    CH 33

    "The German propaganda ministry in late 1944/ early 1945 issued daily reports of new Wunderwaffe ( super weapons) but most of these weapons reached the combat theatre too late, and in too insignificant numbers (if at all) to have a military effect."

    I realize your comment is illustrative but it`s not a happy one.

    10.000 flying bombs (V1s) were launched,a quarter reached London,the same number Antwerp.Carrying a ton of H/E they were very destructive and caused thousands of deaths.

    The V2 attacks on London and Antwerp began a bit later,fewer were produced but were just as deadly.Neither weapon was insignificant to those beneath them.

    The importance given to the V1 at the time is shown by the defensive reaction to them.Massed anti-aircraft guns on the coast,a fighter screen behind them and finally barrage balloons on the southern approaches to London.Often the engine cut out before they reached their target and they would glide for miles like a silent and deadly assasin.

  • Comment number 63.

    Whilst we are talking about changes to Parliament, 2 measures should be included:
    1. A general election when the PM changes
    2. When an MP changes allegiance, it should trigger a by-election - I voted for Quentin Davies because of the policies he stood for - can't stand the man himself.

  • Comment number 64.

    Any promise now ? Just clutching at straws! Brown needs all your help Nick I'm sure you won't let him down.

  • Comment number 65.

    To hear comments such as "I am going to vote LibDem because they are committed to proper political reform" is quite scary.

    Parliament has been around for centuries and - subject to proper scrutiny and policing to keep their scams in check - it works quite well.

    That is not to say it could not work better and some reform would not be desirable. But, compared to the other problems faced by this nation, political reform is so insignificant as to be irrelevant.

    To cast a vote based upon this one (relatively) insignificant policy is to risk a hung Parliament, the outcome of which would be to place at risk the Nation's financial and social health.

    It is obvious that the current government has shifted the focus of attention to the lesser (but more emotionally charged) matter of political reform to distract the voters from the dreadful mistakes that have been made during the Labour Watch. If this deception tactic succeeds and we are lumbered with another five years of Brown and Mandelson (admittedly, the perfect example of why politics needs reform), it would be nothing less than a disaster for all of us.

  • Comment number 66.

    why are comments taking so long to moderate? Nearly an hour now.

    (You can delete this if you want!)

  • Comment number 67.


    Clegg has an impossible job to do, from what I am picking up the LibDem ground roots would find a coalition with the Tories almost impossible to swallow but to support a wounded minority Brown government would go against the wishes of the electorate and moreover Brown would scheme to undermine the influence of the LibDems.

    If the Tory party were denied the chance of forming a government when they had won the largest percentage of the vote by far, albeit not a majority due to the skewed electoral map, this could seriously damage the LibDems.

    I still have vivid memories of the David Steel puppet from the days of Spitting Image, I would be sorry to see Clegg have the same fate.

    In some ways I think Clegg would be better placed to regain the centre ground after the election and support the party that forms the government on an issue by issue basis. If Labour drift to the left after the election it may be the springboard the LibDems need to be a radical centre [left] alternative and supplant Labour as the main opposition.

  • Comment number 68.

    43. At 1:48pm on 07 Apr 2010, DistantTraveller wrote:

    "We have a Scottish Labour Prime Minister and a Scottish Labour Chancellor.
    Neither of them can vote on Scottish issues affecting their own constituencies as they are not members of the Scottish Parliament. Yet both of them can decide English issues."

    You are absolutely right, I have just listened to Go Bro on the radio expounding his constitutional reforms. He refers to the Mother of Parliaments ignoring that it was the English Parliament before the Act of Union.

    He also forgot that he was in favour of the asymmetric Devolution that allowed the Scots and Welsh to have their own parliaments while ignoring the rights of English voters.
    How he can stand up and call himself a democrat is beyond belief. He needs to be cross examined on his proposals, lets hope Jeremy Paxman does so, although Go Bro is reluctant to be interviewed by him.

  • Comment number 69.

    We have 2 direct quotes from El Gordo, from PMQs, with regard to the Governments planned NI rise next year.

    "Gordon Brown said the 1% rise in National Insurance from April 2011 was vital to maintaining public services."

    "Mr Brown said that the estimated £6bn the increase in National Insurance would raise was needed to maintain and improve schools, hospitals, the police and other public services."

    As I see it, if, next year, the economy doesn't grow as expected and throw up revenue automatically, then a re-elected Labour Government would be back with another NI rise, since they keep maintaining that these "front line" services will NOT be scaled back, even when they start trying to trim the deficit.

    It will be interesting to see if the question gets raised, and answered.

  • Comment number 70.

    It might be easier if MPs and Parliaments were elected for only two years.

    In that way the head of the government would have to make policy promises which he/she could implement in a 2 year period or face the wrath of voters.

    Equally, MPs would be required to get on with the job effectively or face dismissal at the end of their two year tenure.

    Too often Parliaments and MPs waste time and money on pie-in-the-sky social engineering projects instead of getting on with the nitty-gritty of dealing with fundamental social issues which concern the public.

    Instead of desperately promising pledges come election time they would have two years to actually implement what they believe so they would have to plan carefully ensuring that they were both effective and efficient as well as meeting the needs of the people.

  • Comment number 71.

    #49 An election of the leader , not a general election thats a different issue, GB faced no contest that the issue

  • Comment number 72.

    #44 Bryn The Cat

    "Okay, we may get some BNP loonies or some Jedi Knights in parliament but that is a small price to pay"

    It's not just the loonies you mention, but now the SNP and Plaid Cymru are boasting that they would use use a hung parliament in order to extort concessions.

    Why should the rest of the UK taxpayers be held to ransom in that way? There are as many people in London alone as Scotland and Wales put together. Why should Wales and Scotland have preferential treatment?

    ......"whichever looks likely to keep the Etonian Toff out of No 10"

    You do yourself no favours with daft comments like that. And what about all the Labour "toffs". See Dr Prod's list @ #144 on the previous blog, 'No surprises'.

  • Comment number 73.

    #41 yeap GB sees himself as the head of a command ecomony much liek
    Kim ill Sung from N.Korea, thats where we are heading

  • Comment number 74.

    Are you boys at the BBC serious?

    The quote below is from your Live coverage of the election:
    "1355: There's concern in some quarters about David Cameron's apparent lack of commitment to cycling safety. Several newspapers, including Scotland's Daily Record, report that the Tory leader rode to the House of Commons this morning without a helmet. He's been told off before for riding lid-less and safety charities have expressed their concern."

    Smack me senseless with a kipper and send me to bed without any supper, but I think there are MORE important issues at stake in this election.

  • Comment number 75.

    Well Nick, let me tell you Nick Clegg's not the only person terrified of propping up 5 more years of Gordon Brown.

    That would be the nightmare scenario for the Lib Dems, and I suspect there'd be a few sleepless nights in the Clegg household if the polls narrowed.

    But in my opinion that's not going to happen, I sense millions of non committed voters who really cannot abide this present crowd, but are yet to be persuaded to vote Tory. Yet when push comes to shove, many of them will barring a gaff of monumental proportions.

    So if I am right, May 7th will see a Tory government with a working majority but a note to Dave, it will be more people voting against what they don't want rather than people voting for you.

    Then lets have:

    Honest answers - I hate Gordon's evasion. If you get it wrong like the 10% tax fiasco admit it and correct it.
    Trust in our MPs. We pay for you, you work for us, never forget that.
    Fiscal, dare I say it, prudence.
    No more dodgy experiments in immigration that aren't part of your manifesto.
    An elected PM, if for some reason you stand down - call an election, let the people decide if the replacement is suitable. He or she is OUR head of state and we want a say.
    Drop the target culture in schools, hospitals and the police.
    Sort out Europe, I really don't like the way it's going.

  • Comment number 76.

    Looks like an hours wait to get posts on to this thread, by which time Nick will have started a new one.

    May be time to start objecting to some of the less relevant offerings from the loonies.

  • Comment number 77.

    "The majority of the country have left wing tendancies, it is why the Tory's poll ratings rarely exceed low 40% and naturally stand at just over 1/3 of the electorate."

    Do they now?

    Just as well you're a cat then Bryn, not a human and therefore unable to vote, what with suffrage not yet being extended to felines.

    It would obviously be wasted on you.

    As a cat, shouldnt you be on a carpet in front of the fire licking yourself at this time of afternoon, or out mousing?

  • Comment number 78.

    So here's a thought.

    Brown, in his speech this afternoon, is suggesting that a future Labour government would put an end to MPs woprking for obbying companies. Sounds good and tough. Job done.

    Thing is, they're not going to win and its not going to happen.

    It will be interesting to see if, in the next parliament, Labour MPs voluntarily decline to take such jobs???

  • Comment number 79.

    Mr Brown has said that his (middle class) parents taught him many good things such as respect for others, telling the truth etc. Well I am not too sure he understands the respect bit but he has certainly forgotten the truth telling because he seems to tell porkies as a matter of policy - perhaps retaught by that pillar of society Lord Mandelson!

    Today at PMQ's the PM in his regular rant accused the Tories of having no policy for the future of Britain. I thought their policy was obvious - get rid of Brown asap!

    Doubt they will achieve it tho.

  • Comment number 80.

    bryhers @ 47

    "Several difficulties with your New Dawn Lib-Dem thinking"

    More than several, I'd have thought! Think you're more with JH66 on the Libs, aren't you? I'm in a "liking them" phase at the moment - more than that, a "may well vote for them" phase. The fact I can express it like this (as a bit of a fad) demonstrates your point, of course. Any case, my piece was more about what I reckon they should do (and be) rather than what they actually will (and are). When push comes to shove on May 6th I reckon the HP scenario (fascinating as it is) will remain just that ... a fascinating scenario. The Cs are going to win outright, I'm sorry to say. Or am I? Am I sorry to say? Because let's float another one. I'm left (way left) and I want that to prevail one day in this country. Would be preferable if we can achieve this via the ballot box - other means are messy and carry great risk - and there's no chance of that this time. But (again big picture, helicopter view) the scene is set. Why? Well, because we're about to suffer hard times due to a gross malfunction of laissez faire capitalism, to the grand larceny perpetrated by its shock troopers a.k.a. investment bankers and related. So, we have that and then we overlay an incompetent Tory Toff government presiding over things getting a whole lot worse, protecting the rich at the expense of the poor, ignoring the Great Ignored so much that the Great Ignored start to realise they've never been ignored like this before. Then we're ON, right?

  • Comment number 81.

    #55 UK,

    I agree this has very little to do with actually wanting to reform the system! it's about making us think they want to, and they think we will vote for them if they make the right noises!

    No - we won't see it any time soon which is a pity, but if it gets the idea into the forefront of politics then this can only be a good thing

    No party really wants to reform the system when they know that they can win/hold onto power without an actual majority vote

    It's funny watching all of them change their tunes to whatever they 'feel' the order of the day is!

    I just want one honest politician to stand up and tell us how it really is: and what needs to be done about it. Not what they 'think' we want to hear.....ho hum though

    Pub time over here shortly! Nice.....

  • Comment number 82.

    @25. Thats an interesting analysis sagamix. In answer to your last point there would be a justification for Nick Clegg supporting Labour even if the Conservatives win the popular vote. Here's a quote from an excellent article on predicting the general election result by Nick Moon, the managing director of GfK NOP Social Research in the lastest issue of Significance:
    "the votes to seats disparity ..... the Labour vote declining in seats it is pretty much bound to win whatever the result, but holding up in key marginals, while the Tories pile up 'useless' votes in their own safe seats. Turnout tends to be lower in safe Labour seats, and when turnout falls this often leads to Labour losing votes without losing seats."
    Don't assume that voter behaviour would be the same under a system of Proportional Representation as it currently is under First Past the Post. I suspect we would see a much larger Labour turnout under PR.

  • Comment number 83.

    jom forest @ 46

    "Answers please Sagamix"

    Faith * Hope * Charity

  • Comment number 84.

    Clegg though will have a much higher price. As a hung Parliament is a reasonable expectation and Clegg and Cable the most recognised Lib Dems- or in the case of Clegg will be at end of campaign - then a clear possibility for a man who speaks several languages and an ex economist is Clegg as Foreign Secretary and Cable as Chancellor. This would also in the case of Brown remove a man he intended to sack and another who is a main rival and in the case of Cameron an obviously weak Shadow Chancellor and a clear Eurosceptic.

    Forget the minor details. Who would you envisage in the two main Offices of State in the event of a hung Parliamnent and support required from the Liberal Democrats?. This question, the names and the motives should be put to all 3 party leaders and conceivably to the other minor party leaders as well. Many voters would actually welcome a hung Parliament so this is a critical issue. Come on Nick Robinson start asking the real questions and get straight to the names!!

  • Comment number 85.

    How many times do we get the same promised reforms from labour ???

    They have had ample time to reform the house of lords if they wanted too , but reform to them means stuffing it full of their elected house of lords would be exactly the same with hand picked choices being the only option given to us...

    another one that will crop up is tax payer funded parties, which labour have been suggesting for some years now.... all will be forgotten about if they were to be re elected....every government that comes in promises items like this.

    I propose that election manifesto's should be a legally binding agreement that if not brought into law within 12 months of parliament sitting, should trigger an automatic general election.

    As for the lords, the first thing that has to happen is a way to sack them if they commit crimes of the severity that we have become accustomed to seeing under this Government.

    There are now far too many politicians in westminster, with the EU overseeing most of our legislation and devolved parliaments in the main countries, why do we need 650 in westminster, i see no reason not to go down to 300 tops with a similar amount of lords.

  • Comment number 86.

    Why is their always an assumption that a coalition government is a weak government? Germany has had coalition governments since 1946 and have great public services, an economy most would be happy with and if you want to tell Angela Merkel that Germany has weak government, well keep me away from the epicentre of that "debate".

    The only problem is of course many of our our politicians don't want it to work. For them Party, Power, Patronage and Personal Prestige are all far more important than respecting the will of the people. All I can suggest is don't vote for those who don't support fair balanced representation of the peoples wishes.

  • Comment number 87.

    The wait is now up to an hour and ten minutes. I found that writing the time longhand, as opposed to writing it in figures, took longer, and kept my mind off of some deplorable truth.

    Bit like listening to Broon's speech, some how.

  • Comment number 88.

    I had lost contact with the title of this thread, which is in fact "The key facts", and have found that most of the posts here are a bit short on facts, and therfore it is difficult to judge whether they are key or not.

  • Comment number 89.

    Sagamix: the view form one of your own:

    His weaknesses, though, could prove fatal. He is charmless, with an alarming inability to come up with a witty riposte.

    The guardian on Brown's performance today at PMQs.

    The mind numbing boorishness of Gordon Brown and the newlabour apologist; all the good work they have done. has anybody heard of anything so self righteous than these guys constantly dribbling in about doctors, nurses, teachers, policemen.

    Is anybody else in this country worth tuppence? What a bunch of dullards.

    Taxi for Brown!

  • Comment number 90.

    So, what does democracy mean to you? And should we have it for only day?

    Ironic that it is being proposed by a man to whom democracy has litle appeal. After all, he, and he alone, has been steadfastly conductiing business as "it being the right thing to do" in all circumstances for the past 13 years, and he maintaions that position today.

    So, democracy means a political government carried out by the elected represntatives of the people. Unfortunately, as we know, the elected represntatives have not behaved themselves properly in the recent past, and now the time has come to mete out retribution, at the ballot box.

    If that means that for this parliament we get a distorted range of party represntation, then sobeit. We need to teach the political class a lesson about proper behaviour with other peoples money, which can then be translated into how to manage the national budget.

    At the moment, the treatment of the national budget more closely resembles a load of pigs at the trough.

  • Comment number 91.

    Yes, and aren't Labour after the LibDem votes too?

  • Comment number 92.

    Here in Smolensk butcher’s shop, where today assistant Yuri is make excellent goat’s livers pies, we is full of confusings about systems of electional reforms. If have so many parties and is voting in proportions, is surely recipes for political padlock (is right word?)

    But approval ratings for parties is joke and problem is go away if you are have system of managed democracy with charismatic leader like gorgeous Vlad. He have approvals of 90%. This, and limitations on irritant of oppositions parties, is mean we have proper proportionals representing. He is represent us in proportion as we love him.

    And British system is create many confusings. Example. What terrible disrespects is show to Sir Brown at Prime Minister’s Interrogations today by rude Cameron man. It is very disrespect. And so close. Is three metres away! You think anyone is get that close to glorious Vlad and ask question without Security Services is wrestle him to ground and throw in Lubyanka?

  • Comment number 93.

    Bryn The Cat 44

    I wouuld happily swap my Red vote to a vote of any colour if that party promises to end the FPTP electoral system we use.

    So, if Labour and the Libs promise electoral reform in the form of AV or full PR then whichever looks likely to keep the Etonian Toff out of No 10 in my home consituency (I believe it will be red) will get my vote


    A bit of a contradition there don't you think?.

    I am sure you would do almost anything to keep Labour in power even change our voting system and share with the Lib/Dems. I seem to remember when you were so sure of a Labour win it made you smile to think of more years under Labour. Fighting hard for the Labour cause as I remember. FPTP did not seem to be such a bad idea then, you seem to have changed your tune quite a lot.

    Pull the other one.

  • Comment number 94.

    Further to my posting #69, regarding the NI increases.

    Brwon states that these rises are essential to fund the specified publis services. Is that hypothecation by another name?

    What if there were to be a surge in revenue, such that the extra 6 billion squids were not needed? Would they be repaid? (History suggest not) More importantly, would the 6 billion be diverted elsewhere, such that it were NOT being used for the purpose specified, also suggesting that the current claim, as to its specific purpose, would be a lie

  • Comment number 95.

    Seems Prezza is digging himself deeper in re the click fraud; Channel 4 up and running with it, where Prezza's son has lied on air, claiming the idea wasnt his dads and he merely re-tweeted it... er, nope. Stats say otherwise. Two Jags was in there first.

    Whats the phrase I'm looking for... oh yeah. The apple doesnt fall far from the tree.


  • Comment number 96.

    #65 Alan
    '... a hung Parliament, the outcome of which would be to place at risk the Nation's financial and social health.'
    So we're screwed either way then!

  • Comment number 97.

    Alan, your post at is so true:

    The Lib Dems (I mean Dim Libs) cries of fairness etcetca in everything they spout is as shall as their policies. When it comes to calls for PR, this is so true...West Germany was condemned to it after WW2 so that its government would be ineffectual. NZ adopted the same system after a referendum in 1992. Proponents promised better politics, less of the "old guard" and two party system. Unlike the promises it did not give better government, yes it gave multi-party government, but the "tail has wagged the dog" and the politics of popularism has been endemic. In short NZ has stagnated for 14 years because of weak colaition governments.

    A hung parliament in Britain would be just the same. Remember the period 1974 to 1979 - Gordo with the support of the DimLibs is not a nice thought.

    Please less of this talk of non-issues such as reform of the political system and let us hear about policies to resolve the size of government, the economy et al.!!!

  • Comment number 98.

    Brown wants a fixed term parliament so that an unpopular government cannot be forced out of office.
    Brown wants to give votes to children.
    Now that he knows he can't win first-past-the-post, Brown wants to change the voting system.


    Brown needs to be removed as soon as possible.

  • Comment number 99.

    Nice to see sagamix and newlabour getting on the wrong side of every argument right from the get go in the 2010 election.

    This is what did for Ken Livingstone with his £25 gas guzzler charge; how many pensioners in Croydon owned one? Probably a handful. But the real question on tax is if you let them get away with yet another tax increase what will they do for the next five years?

    London just decided they'd had enough of endless increases in their council tax bills to pay for Ken livingstone's fantasy racism projects and trips to Venezuela and the UK has had enough of endless newlabour tax increases with no accountability for where the money is going.

    Nice bluff by the tory boys... run into the election with the deficit as the key agenda; then pull it at the last minute and start talking about tax cuts at precisely the moment newlabour have committed to the deficict. It's too late for them to turn back; they've passed an act of parliament. Groan.

    Now the tories are free as a free flying spring bird to talk about reducing the tax burden for the wealth creating part of the economy while newlabour stumbles to find an agenda.

    Who'd have thought it; outdone by their own spin?

    Taxi for Brown!

  • Comment number 100.

    Jobs are the key issue with swing voters. Their sentiments are moved by facts. Not spin from any side.
    One big new fact is that the OECD is confirming that this year's growth in national wealth will exceed that of France, Italy, Japan, Germany and the USA. That'll mean the number of jobs is also rising. And voters' confidence in government policy too.
    Which presents Tories with a problem: how to portray Labour as a 'failed' spending policy, when its success is all too evident?
    I've written this before. And it bears repeating: Tory argument has lurched from talking about the recession, because they know its recovering well ahead of predictions. And deficits fade as growthtakes over.
    For electors, selecting a government that can deal with emergencies is paramount.
    Tories usually end up destroying jobs. Labour gets our country back to work.


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