Is 5/1 against it NOT being May 5th now a good bet?
The current price on the Betfair “Will it be May 5th” market is 5/1 against that not being the day. Could the Royal Wedding impact on the time-table and force Tony Blair to move the election back or bring it forward?
I am grateful to Anthony Wells for advising that the election timetable is fixed in stone. The polling day is automatically exactly 17 days after the dissolution of Parliament and the issuing of the writ, not including weekends or bank holidays.
Counting back from May 5th, Parliament would have to be dissolved and the writs issued on Monday 11th April – meaning that there would no Parliamantary time whatsover between Charles’s wedding on April 8th and the dissolution of Parliament.
There will be legislation that needs tying up before Parliament is dissolved, so if Tony Blair goes for a May 5th election it would almost certainly need to be announced immediately before the wedding, which would then be stuck in the middle of an election campaign.
Would the Prime Minister announce an election in such circumstances? This is a hard call but the 5/1 against it not now being 05/05/05 look like good value.