A fascinating piece by Michael Brown in today’s Independent on whether Blair might be considering going to the country in October this year. He argues that if Iraq continues to go badly and leads to John Kerry beating George W. Bush then this could have serious consequences for Tony Blair…
“This scenario lies behind the growing speculation that Mr Blair might conceivably be planning a quick, cut-and-run election before the presidential contest, in order to pre-empt any embarrassing read across to our own domestic political circumstances. I have no doubt that he had firmly already penned, rather than pencilled, Thursday 5 May 2005 in his diary a long time ago.
But the arguments for a pre-emptive electoral strike are certainly worth Mr Blair considering, and may account for the extraordinary amount of parliamentary deck-clearing which has been surreptitiously taking place during the past few weeks. The controversial decision to dump the Bill to remove the remaining hereditary peers and the equivocation over the future of fox-hunting means that there is little for the Commons to do between now and the summer recess….
…..Some believe that the September party conference, which will showcase policies resulting from the outcome of the party’s “Big Conversation”, could be the springboard for launching an October campaign – denying the Tories their own conference a week later.”
The current price on a 2004 election is remarkably low.