Why Brown could call the election for April 15
The Mole: Three reasons why the Prime Minister could go earlier than May 6
The Mole is having his ear bent by various types adamant that Gordon Brown will go to the country earlier than the much-vaunted May 6 - most probably April 15. Here's the thinking:
First, the polls show the election is still winnable for Labour IF Brown can get the Labour vote out but stop the 'fringe' supporters who are fed up with Labour voting against the party, whether it's for the LibDems or the Tories.
The trouble with May 6 is that it's the local election that day too and many of those fringe Labour supporters will be more inclined to go to the polls to vote on local issues. While there, they are likely to vote against the party.
Better to have the election at a different time and turn the 'angry vote' into an 'absentee vote'.
Two, by waiting to call an election on May 6, Brown looks weak - as if he's forced to hold an election because the clock is running down (which it is). By going early - at a time of his choosing - he looks more decisive.
Three, an election on April 15 would necessitate Brown calling it in mid-March. The Budget - a subject of contention, because Brown wants it to be 'positive' while Chancellor Darling is urging for it to be 'realistic' - can then be postponed until after the election.
The Mole is not convinced - but it's only fair to say that many insiders are. Watch this space. ·
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