James Forsyth

Is a 2009 election still a possibility?

Is a 2009 election still a possibility?
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Steve Richards reports in the New Statesman that Cabinet ministers are again talking about the prospect of an election this year not next. The thinking goes that if Labour clings on until the last minute they’ll lose so better to take the initiative and call an election as soon as they are within striking distance. One rumour doing the rounds in Westminster is that the Pre Budget Report in October will contain a second stimulus and Brown will then go to the country after that.

But as Steve writes, “the dilemma for Brown is that, if he goes on to the bitter end, unlike Major, he is doomed to lose; and yet it is quite hard to envisage a period this year when the poll ratings would be remotely safe enough for him to call an election.”

I suspect that Brown while not hanging on until the last possible day, will still wait until next year before risking the country’s verdict. If I had to bet, I’d go for a March or April 2010 election.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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