Maybe I am reading too much into this, but it does seem that Labour’s sudden enthusiasm for a quick election in the New Year might be prompted by more than just their revival (let’s be honest, that is overstating it a little) in the polls. Two other issues seem to be at work. The first, the Pre-Budget Report seems to be unravelling already. The numbers do not stack up and the optimistic forecasts of jam tomorrow ring hollow. An election before the budget seems to make political sense because there will be nothing but grim news after that.
And the second issue might just be Blair. We have heard his recent indiscrete comments about going to war even if he had known there were no WMD. While this will not surprise many, it has now been openly stated. More and more voices are raising concerns about the legitimacy of the war. Blair’s response seems to become more assertive, more arrogant and less repentant. There is also a subtext – he believes he would have won the Cabinet round to war, suggesting they were supine in the run-up to war. The damage to Labour in any election could be very serious. So polling day before Blair gives his evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry suddenly seems a smart move.
Or maybe I am reading too much into this?