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By Philippe Legrain 2 COMMENTS

The British people want a say when the Labour Party changes its leader, and thus appoints the next prime minister. According to the Observer,

A new opinion poll reveals 56 per cent of the public want the chance to
have their say on the new leader of the Labour party, whoever it is,
within the first six months. Voters are not content to leave the
question of the next Prime Minister to the party and want him or her to
earn the right to govern. The GFK/NOP poll found huge support for a
genuine leadership battle rather than a coronation, with 81 per cent
supporting a contest.

This is exactly the point I made in an earlier post. A snap general election is not a constitutional requirement, but it is the right thing to do — and voters want one. The next prime minister ignores them at his peril.

Posted 24 Sep 2006 in Blog, Britain, Politics
  1. Parliamentary Democracy says:

    oh dear, i see savaged again in the Guardian. Repeat after me – “A Prime Minister is not a President”. Now connect the dots my friend….

  2. Matthew says:

    I don’t think it’s the right thing to do. A Labour government was elected in 2005, not Tony Blair. There’s no reason to believe he alone won that election. I know others have made this point but it’s a very valid one.
    To call a snap election would be almost unprecedented in modern times – Major didn’t in 1995, or 1990, Callaghan didn’t in 1976 (a very similar example), Home didn’t (he had to go in 1964), Macmillian didn’t. Eden did, though that was 4 years into a parliament not 2 and is now more than 50 years ago.
    We should be encouraging less use of the PM’s power to call elections when he/she wants, not more.

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