18 February 2010

Election fever Part II: Will it be March?

As we were discussing yesterday:

There is an uneasy calm about the place.  Tactical Brown is up to something that hasn't been leaked or trailed in the newspapers.

And just 24 hours later comes the announcement that Labour’s themes for the general election are to be unveiled this weekend.  A little rally has been organised for Saturday in the marginal seat battleground of the West Midlands.

So, what do we have here?

  1. A unofficial campaign launch organised on the same weekend when Brown has to take the decision about a 25 March poll;
  2. Would Brown really want a budget on the back of those awful borrowing figures this side of the election?
  3. The shadow of Chilcot looms;
  4. This rally is not some last minute decision.  Other events are being planned around the country.
  5. Andrew Rawnsley’s book, that is expected to cause a spot of bother for Brown, is being serialised in the Observer this Sunday.

Brown wouldn't go to such be lengths because of a few unkind words that may appear in a book.  Other methods are at his disposal if he wishes to defuse that explosion.

The conclusion has to be that he hasn't yet made up his mind about a 25 March poll.

Why would he organise such an event if he already decided on May?

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  1. Great minds. I wrote a little post the other day suggesting that may actually be the best time for Brown to call an election - hung parliament is probably the best he can hope for, so he should move before any possible Tory resurgence, it wrong-foots the smaller parties and possibly the Lib Dems and it prevents the country getting too sick of prolonged electioneering.

    We'll have to see, but if Brown has any sense, he'd move sooner rather then later.

  2. Oh dear, I meant "that it may actually be the best time".

    Must read what I write more carefully.

  3. Guido Fawkes reported earlier in the week that Tory PPCs have been told to keep the Blackberry's switched on all weekend. While that's not indicative of anything concrete, it does suggest that they at least sniff something in the wind and want to be ready, just in case.

    Also, consider the timing of last week's Piers Morgan interview. It would seem to fit nicely into a Labour election timetable ;)

  4. My guess is that he will wait for a couple more polls. There is one due out tonight.

    Labour's private polls will not be much different to what we know.

    As of today, the economy is getting worse rather than improving. There is little point in him waiting until May.

  5. Dan, you have to read my earlier posts on Morgan. With respect, Guido's point is irrelevant.

    If Brown does go for March, Cameron will not be told until just before Brown goes the Palace, which will be Monday at the earliest.

  6. Although Cameron wouldn't be told officially until the morning of the event, I think that if Brown's going to the Palace next week, it will become clear over the weekend that he's going to do so.

    Keep in mind that in recent times it's never been a surprise when the PM's taken that drive down the Mall. It's normally flagged several days in advance.

  7. On the other hand, if Brown doesn't kick start things next week then 6th May is a nailed-on certainty.

  8. I think Colostomy Brown is a much better nickname than Tactical Brown.

  9. My own view is that Brown's natural indecision will push the election date back as far as possible.

    However, this scenario is certainly possible. A first quarter of negative growth is very likely because of the impact of the VAT rise, the bad weather and the traditional lack of cash at this time of year....plus the fact the government had to borrow in January for the first time since records began (normally the taxes roll in). This is probably the most damaging event that could occur for Brown....forget Chilcot by comparison!

  10. I agree with your logic. We will have to see what unfolds over the next few days.

    What I find strange is that has been little comment on an early election. It just shows that the hacks exist by being fed spin and leaks and not much else.