Labour sitting by the river whilst the spin machine goes into overdrive…

I think it probably signifies something significant that two confident old players like Iain and Guido are trying to spin an imminent call for the next British general election. Will Straw at Left Foot Forward has five reasons why we might still be heading for a May 6th election:

1. Announcing an election over the weekend would sabotage the passage of key pieces of Government legislation including Harriet Harman’s Equality Bill; the Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill which includes provisions to set up the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority and for a referendum on electoral reform; and the Child Poverty Bill which will entrench in law the Government’s commitment to eradicating child poverty by 2020.

2. The Labour party is carrying on as normal. This weekend they’re launching a clever social media tool called “Take a Long Hard Look at the Tories“. It’s the kind of thing that will excite Labour’s netroots and twitterati but is hardly election campaign launch material.

3. Council elections in London, all the metropolitan boroughs, and some unitary authorities will take place on May 6th regardless. Labour is hoping to win back many of the seats they lost in 2006 with the election increasing the turnout. The party would also struggle to fight two elections in six weeks.

4. Calling a March 25th election would result in criticism that Labour had avoided either both holding a Budget and facing the Q1 growth figures which come out in late April.

5. The Tories have been trying to stir it up. As well as Iain Dale’s intervention, Sam Coates from Tory social media team tweeted at lunch “The parliamentary rules on what happens when the election is called, if you’re interested:”

Although Will also says he could be wrong, this has the look and feel of a Tory spin operation… More locally, if an election is called now, at least the UUP has finally got down to choosing its candidates… The SDLP on the other hand have no named candidate in sight for South Down… A situation ripe for a nice piece of disruption from a better organised Sinn Fein…

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