I see from this MON article that the UBP is gearing up for a leadership contest by December at the latest. To be honest I am surprised that Mr. Swan has survived as long as he has, and thought he would have to resign in the aftermath of the NewBP’s split from the UBP. The MON article indicates that Mr. Richards, the current shadow Finance Minister, is a likely challenger for the leadership. Personally I feel that the UBP’s best potential leader would be John Barritt. However, with Mr. Barritt’s recent musings on leaving the UBP and running as an independent, as well as the traditional UBP fear of being labeled as the White party may rule him out of the competition.
Mr. Swan’s comments about working in a coalition with the NewBPers is interesting. If anything else this potential could serve as the kiss of death for the NewBP who have still not specified how (if at all) they are different from the UBP. Certainly a NewBP-UBP coalition while in Opposition is exactly the situation we’ve had for the last eighteen months. I am also curious how they will go about contesting elections in this manner. I would assume they are hoping to avoid splitting the vote through contesting the same constituencies. Seeing as the UBP had difficulty in the run-up to the 2007 election finding a full slate of candidates, I am sure the UBP in its current state would relish the opportunity to consolidate its focus on a minority of seats. However such a strategy will also reinforce the idea that the NewBP and UBP are virtually the same. Personally I would suggest that the UBP focus on fourteen seats exclusively, while the NewBP attempt to contest a full complement of seats, perhaps with the exclusion of PLP strongholds. The addition of other political parties contesting elections would of course further change the equation of course.