The CBI yesterday predicted that unemployment could reach 3 million by the end of next year. Not only would that be a disaster to the people concerned and to the country, it does open up the prospect of revising my estimate that the general election will be in 2010.
Quite how a Labour government would be able to explain away such economic competence would be interesting to see. But with the spectre of 3 million unemployed haunting Labour, Brown may be tempted to go a year early if Labour's poll ratings are close to the Tories' position (which at least for the moment seems to be happening - a feature of the Tories' inability to present a coherent, set of policies on the economy). This would of course be very risky for Labour. They would, after all, be putting up for grabs a very fragile majority (30 seats lost by Labour under the new boundaries and they are in no-overall-control situation).
My feeling is that Brown will still hold out to 2010 but the chances of a 2009 election have probably increased.
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