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I was sat in Portcullis House yesterday afternoon for about two hours (Portcullis House being part of the Palace of Westminster and the place for journalists, researchers and parliamentarians to mingle).  The only topic of conversation was the possibility of an election early in the new year.  Every person had a different theory…

…Brown needs to call an election before anxiety turns to pain and pain to anger was the wisest thought…

…he won’t bottle an early election this time because Peter Mandelson is providing steel to the PM’s dither…

…he has to go soon because Darling has said the recession will be over by the autumn but it won’t be…

…he is finally enjoying being PM for the first time and he won’t risk losing twelve months as the man to navigate Britain through these difficult times – he has great faith in his ability to be seen by history as the great economic leader of the first recession of the 21st century…

…he’ll wait until 2010 because he thinks voters will eventually see through Cameron as inauthentic.

The Daily Telegraph pours some cold water on the idea of an early election by quoting one "senior Labour strategist" as saying "voters would be disgusted if we called an election at a time when they are worried about their homes and their jobs."

One thing is certain: Brown can’t afford to let election speculation get out of control again and face charges of bottling another election.  Labour was quick to use Benedict Brogan to rubbish Iain Dale’s "Exclusive" that it had bought advertising space for January.  If there is to be an early election Labour needs for it to be a surprise.

Tim Montgomerie

Noon: Graeme Archer thinks the ‘early speculators’ are wrong

59 comments for: Labour pour cold water on early election speculation

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