by RAY FLEMING
JASON Moore's suggestion, in our debate in Saturday's Bulletin on the handling of the British economy, that Gordon Brown should call an election was followed by a similar view in the Sunday Times from Michael Portillo - “Call a vote sooner rather than later” was his advice (he did not add the opinion he expressed in a speech here on Majorca earlier this year that Brown would win the next election). A lot will ride on this week's election - no, not today's in the United States, but Thursday's in Glenrothes, Scotland. At this by-election Labour is defending a majority of nearly 11'000 against an increasingly confident Scottish National Party which is making the most of local resentment against the difficulties that have befallen Scotland's two most prominent banks in the aftermath of the Wall Street crash. However a different school of thought argues that the current economic crisis shows how unrealistic is the SNP's long-term goal of Scottish independence. Even if Labour holds Glenrothes, I cannot see the prime minister taking that as a signal to go for a snap election. Labour still trails the Conservatives by nine points in the polls but a more important factor is surely what view the electorate would take about the distraction of an election in these parlous economic times. The need must be for political continuity and stability and that is provided by a team trusted by the public and already engaged in complex international negotiations.

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