Guido Fawkes posted last night:
BBC Source: News Team on Red Alert For Election Call
This was then updated:
Guido understands that the BBC political teams have been told not to go away over the weekend.
That rather modifies the headline.
To date this has not been picked up elsewhere, but it worth some comment.
Brown is now locked in to give his evidence to the Iraq Inquiry on 5 March, which cannot happen if an election is called. It would be a crass decision for this to be called off now. Moreover, Brown is on record stating he wants to gives his evidence before polling day.
Later this morning the revised Q4 GDP figures are announced. There is much speculation if they will be revised upwards or not. Furthermore, the pound took a hammering on the foreign exchanges yesterday.
It could well be that Brown, already aware of the revised figures, has a cunning plan to deflect attention from the bad news.
There is something else that is more likely to be behind Guido’s post, which we discussed earlier this week:
As the story goes, Wilson would make his annual trip to see HMQ at Balmoral to coincide with the start of the Tory conference. To disrupt proceedings at the seaside, Wilson would feed a few trusted journalists that he was seeking a dissolution. It worked a treat.
The Tories are holding their unnecessary spring (it’s still winter) conference next weekend.
Brown will want to wrong foot the Tories over the weekend and cause as much disruption as possible.
Finally, The Times confirms that Labour will fight a cheap and cheerful campaign as the party has no money. A union source tells the paper:
Quite frankly, there is no way the party could pay for another campaign so soon after this one.
That being the case, the party will not be in a position to fight the local campaign if the general election is earlier than 6 May.
We can now rule a March poll out, because the dissolution would have to happen on Monday, leaving no time for the ‘wash up’. Maundy Thursday, 1 April, can be discounted, so the earliest date would now be 8 April. But even if Labour had the money, the announcement wouldn't happen in the next few days due to Chilcot.
As discussed above, if Guido story does have legs, it’s likely that ‘the Wilson trick’ is going to be rolled out this weekend.
With short-term tactical Brown you can never be sure what is going on.