It all started out so well for Gordon Brown. After years of being the eternal bridesmaid, he was finally able to don the dress and have his day when Tony Blair handed over the keys to Number 10. Ok…maybe that’s imagery you don’t need. But that’s kind of what happened in 2007. Now-former British PM Gordon Brown was handed the assignment of continuing with the Blair policies and sustaining the political power Labour had gained with Blair’s election 10 years previous. Sounds simple enough, right? So how is it that after only 3 years as British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown has been unceremoniously dumped by the electorate? Hmmm.
Well, first of all, he shouldn’t feel too distraught over it. The British voting public didn’t seem very keen on any of the three parties — Labour just got the brunt of the abuse because it was the party in power. Gordon Brown was highly unpopular. All the polls said so. But in all the postmortems I’ve read on this election, the writers have yet to point to a singular failure on Brown’s part that directly led to Labour’s defeat. Yes, there were comments about his off-mike asides calling one woman who asked him questions “bigoted”, but those kind of things aren’t the ones that definitively swing an election one way or another. In the end, it was voter fatigue with Labour’s 13 years in power combined with the many voters who chose the Liberal Democrats that sealed Brown’s fate, but for the way he handled his own tenure, Gordon Brown has no one to blame but himself.