Is Ainsworth really privy to the election date thinking?

Is Ainsworth really privy to the election date thinking?

Hasn’t this become like October 2007?

In all the speculation over May 6th really being the day let’s not forgot the total Horlicks that Labour/Brown made over the election that never was in October/November 2007.

Then, according to the party’s general secretary at the time, Peter Watts, getting on for £1.2m of Labour precious resources had already been spent. A million and a half mail packs had been printed and stuffed and were ready to be sent to key voters in marginal seats. Even a fleet of limousines for ministers that had been booked was on its way because as soon as the election was declared then official cars would be withdrawn.

The “certainty” about that date was almost on the scale of the “certainty” we are seeing at the moment about May 6th.

Yet I’m still not convinced because May 6th involves going early and that requires a decision – something that I think Brown is going to find to be extraordinarily difficult to take.

There will always be the temptation to think that a delay to the last possible day, June 3rd, might just see something that could make Labour’s chances that bit better.

Secondly if indeed Brown does take the plunge isn’t their the question of the economic growth figures to take into account? It looks like tomorrow’s 2009 Q4 figures will mark the official of end the recession which could change the narrative and provide the peg for him to claim that Labour’s approach was right.

But a May 6th election would take place only days after the Q2 numbers came out and isn’t there a worry that the bad weather might have hit economic activity at the start of the year? That could be a key argument for March/April

Of course May 6th is the worthy betting favourite though I notice that most bookies have now taken their markets down. But I’m not convinced that Bob Ainsworth knows the date yet and neither does Gordon.

Betfair have “May 6th” market.

Mike Smithson

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