Tony Blair to Resign – Has Picked Date

Tony Blair has revealed that he will resign as Prime Minister, presumably turning it over to Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, and that he has a date in mind which he is keeping secret for now. The Financial Times says Blair is “widely expected to stand down next year.”

This is one of the curious features of a parliamentary system but sometimes a good one. In a presidential model, the term of office is fixed and a troubled administration can linger on, ineffective, for years. An unpopular premier, by contrast, can save their party’s position by standing down and handing the reins over to a successor, as Margaret Thatcher did for John Major in 1990. Indeed, the Conservatives managed to get re-elected to another five year term with him at the helm.

Correction: Original had Major’s term at six years rather than the constitutional maximum of five.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Tano says:

    …another five year term, not six.

  2. Roger Ridenour says:

    See, neo-cons, the press does report good news.