David Blackburn

Is Brown about to call the election?

Is Brown about to call the election?
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Guido’s got the inside track that the Beeb have been told not to take the weekend off, and the Tory lead has been cut to five points in the Telegraph’s Ipsos Mori poll. A five point lead is hung parliament territory and Labour could win the most seats - further evidence, as if any were needed, that the force is with Labour.

There are a couple of other reasons he may go now. Peter Hain has written an article for the Guardian, wooing Lib Dem voters (more on that later) – could that article be a prelude to the big announcement? Fourth quarter growth figures have been revised upwards, to a staggering 0.3 percent, which is encouraging but still low enough for Labour to run on a ‘Not The Time For Cuts' ticket. Equally, the Tories hope to get their campaign back on track this weekend at their spring conference – calling an election would obviously overshadow that and deepen the Tories’ crisis.

My gut instinct, which, I should point out, is often proved ruinously unreliable at the races, is that he won’t. I still think he’ll want to pass as much legislation from the Queen’s Speech as possible, and let the probable budget settle, before seeking a dissolution.

UPDATE: Well, for once it seems my instinct was right.