Digital pebbles

Clarke Mulder Purdie on PR, media and other random topics

Resignations and a reshuffle… can Brown survive?

Posted by alicocksworth on June 5, 2009

The dramatic events of last night continued through the morning as Downing Street went on the offensive with an early reshuffle. The major faces are for the most part where they started: Alistair Darling, contrary to widespread predictions stays at No. 11, Jack Straw stays at Justice, David Milliband stays at the Foreign Office. The big move is Alan Johnson from Health to Home Office.

At this point it looks like Brown may live to fight another day – if not another year. James Purnell’s resignation offered the big players a key opportunity to force a leadership contest: Peter Mandelson, Alan Johnson and, perhaps most surprisingly, David Milliband have all publicly aligned themselves with the Prime Minister. The latter – close friend and long-time political ally of Purnell – is now being criticised in some quarters for not taking the initiative.

Mr Brown owes a great deal to Peter Mandelson – who voiced his unequivocal support quickly and articulately. More critically, he is also held responsible for rallying Blairites and Brownites alike to defend him.

The election results look like they could be worse than predicted with The Guardian suggesting that Labour attrition could be as high as 75% in some areas.
265 key wards have been declared and the change in the share of the vote for each party according to the BBC is as follows:

Conservatives up 4

Labour down 12

Lib Dems down 2

Another round-up later tonight…

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