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Members of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's own political party, the Labour Party, tried and failed to force him out of office this week. The attempt, despite being commonly referred to as a "coup" in the British press, used legal parliamentary measures to attempt to unseat Brown. With just months until Brown and his party face national elections, the move has unbalanced Britain's political spectrum and the electoral field for the three dominant parties. Labour, the dominant party, is liberal but is expected to fare poorly due to the economy and the contentious war in Afghanistan. The Conservative Tory Party and the minority Liberal Democrat Party both stand to make gains and alter the British political landscape. What will the foiled ouster mean for U.K. politics?

  • Britain Wants Labour Out The Telegraph exclaims that the plot "did not represent a clash of ideas, or a dispute over something of great consequence to the nation, such as how to rescue the country from its parlous financial position, even though we know there are fissures within the Cabinet over how this should be done." They write that Britons aren't looking to just shuffle in a different Labour Prime Minister. "The only ballot the country wants now is a general election."
  • Show's Labour's Incompetence The Telegraph's Philip Johnston scoffs. "The conspirators were so inept that their plot had flopped before the sun had even set over an icy Westminster," he writes. "By yesterday they had managed the extraordinary feat of shoring Brown up while at the same time making it clear to the country that the Cabinet is irrevocably split. More than that, as the rest of us shovelled snow from the path and slithered our way to work, the governing party was engaged in a self-indulgent bout of party-machine introspection that was grotesquely irrelevant to the country at large."

  • Rise of Liberal Democrats? The Guardian's Michael White suggests the Liberal Democrat party could profit. "The Lib Dem leader's 'we're not for sale' stance irritates some voters but will have attracted others to the party's familiar anti-politics appeal," he writes. "Labour's slow implosion does not necessarily translate into pure Tory gain."
  • Great Break For Tory Party The Economist calls the plot "the stuff of dreams" for Tories as it proves Labour is "disheartened and disunited." They write, "Until that moment, the Tories had seemed to be having the worst of the opening stages of the election campaign, which was unofficially launched this week."
  • Labour & Brown Will Rise Or Fall On Economy The Guardian calls the incident "an awful mess from an exhausted party whose internal contradictions are accelerating its slide towards catastrophe." They predict the party will come together. "Yet the economy could be a strength. It may even lie behind Labour's real but modest recovery in the polls." Labour must champion economic recovery, "Otherwise Labour will enter the election heading for defeat, and deserving to lose."

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