Is this an option if peers don’t fall into line?
The BBC’s Political Editor, Andrew Marr, reported at lunchtime that there was talk at Westminster of Tony Blair calling an early election if no agreement can be reached with on the controversial anti-terror law plans.
With the deadline for the bill to be passed getting closer and closer could Marr be right and this be a serious possibility? The Prime Minister could make a strong case that this was was only alternative because the unelected Lords were blocking moves to control the terrorist threat from the elected lower chamber. He could seek to fight the election on a one issue basis and attack the Tories and Lib Dems “for bringing this about”.
The closest precedent to this – the Feruary 28th 1974 election – is not good for the Prime Minister. Then Edward Heath went to the country early in the middle of the miner’s strike on the issue of “who rules Britain?” Most commentators thought that Heath would win easily. In fact the outcome was a hung parliament which heralded the return to Downing Street of Harold Wilson.
There’s been a bit of movement on the “Will it be May 5th?” market with prices on the “Yes” option easing.