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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007, 21:01 GMT 22:01 UK
Scots Labour 'against election'
Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown has yet to decide on an autumn election
A majority of Scottish Labour MP backbenchers do not want the prime minister to call a general election this year, BBC Scotland has found.

A survey has found they are against autumn poll by a margin of two to one.

They cited reasons including voter fatigue and concern over the strength of the SNP.

The survey came as it emerged Labour was said to be recruiting people who would play an integral role in any forthcoming general election campaign.

BBC Scotland spoke to 31 of the 39 MPs who represent Scottish constituencies in the days following Gordon Brown's speech to the Labour Party conference and asked if they "would advise the prime minister to hold the general election this autumn".

What's the rush? We only had an election two years ago
Jim Devine
Labour MP

A total of 10 said "yes" and 19 - including a majority of backbenchers - said "no".

Only two did not know or would not say.

Those against a snap election also worried about turnout on a cold, dark day and the lack of organisation in some local Labour parties.

Those in favour said the Nationalists were more of a threat to the Liberal Democrats in Scotland, claiming opinion polls suggested Gordon Brown had a perfect opportunity to beat David Cameron's Conservatives and win his own mandate as prime minister.

Jim Devine was among those who wanted Mr Brown to wait.

The Livingston MP said: "I remember the last October election in 1974. It is cold, it is dark, we are liable to have a foot of snow from Aberdeen to Aberystwyth. This is not the time for an election.

"What's the rush? We only had an election two years ago. I think he should wait at least until next May."

But David Hamilton said the Gordon Brown should go for it in late October, or at least "before the clocks change".

"I think he should go quicker rather than later," said the MP for Midlothian.

"I think it's important that we make a single issue, that we go to the people with one vote in mind - who runs the country - and it should be Labour.

Mike Weir MP, the SNP's Westminster Campaign Director said: "This is ample proof that Labour is running scared of the SNP in Scotland and confirms why Alex Salmond is right to call for an election now.

"The SNP is up for an election and ready to go with the confidence that we'll make progress."

Should Gordon Brown stay put or go to the polls?

Timetable: General Elections
27 Sep 07 |  UK Politics


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