Wednesday 3 October 2007

If Gordon calls a General Election....

Speculation continues that we are just days away from the Prime Minister calling a General Election. Of course all these rumours may be an attempt to unsettle the already unsettled Tory Party - or there may be some substance in them.

If an election is called Washminster will cover it!

The first step will be the Prime Minister's trip to see the Queen. Strictly, it is her Parliament and she decides when to dismiss MPs and request returning officers to advise her who the new representatives for each constituency (= district) are. By convention the Queen will accept the Prime Minister's advice.

Parliament needs to be dissolved - it does not need to meet in order for this to happen (this was the case in the second election of 1974) - but most observers expect Parliament to return on Monday - and if an election announcement is made, to act on essential business before the dissolution.

While I normally work at Westminster three days a week, I will stay in the Midlands during the election period. I live in one of the key marginals - Rugby. The constituency is significantly different from the current 'Rugby and Kenilworth' constituency which has been in its current form since 1997.

The MP from 1997 to 2005 was Andy King - a long term resident of the constituency, who had served for many years on behalf of Rugby people on Rugby Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council. Had the re-districting taken place before the 2005 election he would have held the seat (An independent analysis of the election suggests that on the new boundaries he would have had a 2,397 majority)

Andy King has been selected by the Local Labour Party to stand at the forthcoming General Election. His website is http://www.andyking4rugby.co.uk/ and already has two facegroup books set up by his supporters

Rugby is very much "Middle England" - it's geographically as close to the centre as it is possible to be; is a major rail and road junction (M1/M6) and is highly marginal. It'll make an interesting place to observe during a General Election!
[the picture is of the clock tower in the centre of the town)