23 April 2009

Is Brown going to surprise us with an early election?


A clever clogs at the BBC developed the above.  “Help” is the most used word from Darling’s speech and best describes what Brown may very well need:

The foreign exchange market is worried about the debt market's ability to absorb the amount of issuance for the next year," said Russell Bloom, an analyst at Action Economics.

"A lack of interest could see speculation of IMF aid rear its head again. I think this is the fear that is being priced into the market," he added.

Geoffrey Yu, a currency strategist at financial services firm UBS, said that he would pay close attention to what credit rating agencies say about the UK's increased debt burden.

"Any whiff that they will have to review the UK's ratings because of this, then you're going to see a wave of sterling selling. That's the risk right now,"

Of course they are instantaneous reactions, but tactical Brown is not going to wait around for these scenarios to bubble up.

Then we have this from Danny Finkelstein:

But it is important to note a subtle but highly significant shift from the 45p measure to the 50p measure. Darling changed the timing.

By moving the tax rise into this Parliament Labour has massively reduced the Tory dilemma.

Agreed, on the assumption that Brown will let the Parliament run for the full five years.

Now this from Paul Waugh:

Way back in 2005, Labour famously pledged once again not to raise either rate of income tax "this Parliament".

That means that an election has to happen before next April if the PM is not to break his most important promise on taxation.

Is it possible we could get an early Budget next February (complete with tax cuts for those on middle incomes) and a March 2010 general election?

Clever chap, but for Brown to wait until next year he has to hope and pray that the growth forecasts are accurate, which of course they won’t be.

Consider this.  Would it not be best for Brown to fight the election on his tax and public spending proposals where he would hope to divide the Tories?

Finally, we have Brown’s rush to clear up the matter of expenses within days.  There is more to this than Brown just wanting to deflect attention from the awful borrowing figures.

I question what Paul Waugh says about the timing, but are we going to see a Cabinet reshuffle followed by an early election?

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