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Monday, May 09, 2005

A question of leadership

The days after a General Election are traditionally those that lend themselves to post-mortems. In recent years it seems that leadership crises are also in fashion during this part of the electoral cycle.

Michael Howard has already announced that he is going as soon as the method of electing a successor has been changed so that the Tories can avoid selecting somebody unsuitable for the fourth time of asking. Plaid Cymru are still debating whether they have a leader or not and if so, whether they want to continue in that vein. The only leader who seems to be staying put is Charles Kennedy. Oh, and Tony Blair of course.

The problem for the Tony Blair is that he has already announced that he will resign as soon as he has out-lasted Margaret Thatcher and as a result is considered by some to be a lame duck Prime Minister. Many of his own party cannot wait for that moment and are keen to get their own leadership race underway at once. Gordon Brown is flexing his muscles in anticipation of walking through the front door of No. 10 as PM but three years is a very long time in politics. That may well be why some Labour backbenchers are openly calling for a leadership contest now.

In the meantime I have just heard on the radio that the Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and Deputy First Minister, Jim Wallace, is stepping down from both posts as soon as possible. He will also not be seeking re-election to Holyrood in 2007. That is all I know about this announcement but it is intriquing nevertheless. Are there any other leadership contests I do not know about?
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