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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 October 2007, 18:09 GMT 19:09 UK
Reaction: Election announcement
Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown has ruled out an autumn general election

Gordon Brown has confirmed that there will not be a general election this autumn, following weeks of speculation that the prime minister would call a snap poll.

Here is a selection of reaction to the development.

DAVID CAMERON, CONSERVATIVE LEADER

The reason the prime minister has cancelled this election is because the Conservative Party is making the arguments about the changes this country needs.

The prime minister has shown great weakness and he has had to make a humiliating retreat.

The prime minister says he has a vision for change, well put that to the people of the country.

What they're using this time for is to cling to office. They have got no vision about what our country needs.

The prime minister has shown extraordinary indecision and extraordinary weakness.

SIR MENZIES CAMPBELL, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT LEADER

What I think we are seeing is a loss of nerve from the prime minister. This is a charade that the prime minister could have put an end to before now.

He's been acting in the interests of the Labour Party and not the country. What is right is that he has made a decision. The British public is entitled to nothing less.

If he was going to have an election, he should have had it as soon as he arrived at 10 Downing Street.

What we have seen is an effort to emulate the Blair era, but a failure to do so.

ALEX SALMOND, SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER

He lost control of his campaign team, and allowed Douglas Alexander and others to hype up election speculation and back him into a corner.

Gordon Brown obviously looked at the polls north and south of the border, and ran away at the first whiff of grapeshot.

Those whom the gods seeks to destroy they first render ridiculous, and this shambles leaves Gordon Brown looking totally ridiculous.

Labour are a shambles north of the border, and shaky south of the border. This is not cautious, simply craven.

MARTIN LINTON, LABOUR MP

We've as good a chance of winning now as we would in two years' time. We're ready for it at any time. If you're in a marginal like this you have to be ready for it at all times.

Clearly the prime minister has considered the possibility of having an election now and he has decided against it, which I think is the right decision.

People don't want to have an election now unless it's absolutely necessary.

JOHN MCDONNELL, LABOUR MP

Well I think it's a fiasco really. A complete fiasco from start to finish.

We've watched for weeks some of the young inexperienced team that Gordon Brown has got around him pumped up with political testosterone, running around game-playing with the Tories on whether an election will be called or not.

I think now it's gone completely against us.

DAVID WINNICK, LABOUR MP

I have not heard of any Labour people who wanted an election and they simply could not understand why, with a majority of 60, we should be talking about an election when Labour has only been in office for two years.

I think the general feeling in the country was pretty indifferent to having an election.

Some pretty senior young individuals in and around the Cabinet should share the responsibility for talking up an election and referring publicly on the radio to where the risk lies.

DIANNE ABBOTT, LABOUR MP

He felt he had to do it now to stop the speculation from running any longer. I think it's for the best.

I think that the weather and dark nights would have made it very difficult campaigning in November.

Whoever started it, the whole thing took on a life of its own and the prime minister decided to put a stop to it.

LORD TEBBIT, FORMER TORY CHAIRMAN

I think the prime minister was tactically unwise to allow the speculation to run so strongly.

Opinion polls are not worth the paper they are written on, in my view, through the conference season. They don't settle down again until November.

MICHAEL PORTILLO, FORMER TORY DEFENCE SECRETARY

This is skulduggery, this is the worst aspects of spin and dither.

Not competent, not good judgment, not sound, not to be trusted - what more do you want?

I do not know if the prime minister will win the next election but you are never going to see Gordon Brown regarded in the same way he was in his first 100 days.

In his first 100 days he seemed to be infallible, he was untouchable, he was gliding across the top of the waves. You are never going to see Gordon Brown reported in that fashion again.

NICK ROBINSON, BBC NEWS POLITICAL EDITOR

What I think we have learnt from this is that there was clearly, as demonstrated in the polls, approval for Gordon Brown's performance in the early weeks as prime minister.

The way that he handled terrorism, the way that he handled floods and foot-and-mouth, but there was not a clear sense it appears from the opinion polls in the electorate's mind of what he wanted to do if he was given his own mandate.

He did not take the opportunity at the Labour conference to set that out. The Tories on the other hand rushed forward quite a lot of their announcements and found that they were rather popular.

ANTHONY HOWARD, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR

There was never really a case for an election. There was no great demand from the public. There was no need for it.

An election wasn't actually necessary, and that being the case the 'I get on with governing the country' is the right thing to do.


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