Byline: Simon Walters
A GENERAL Election could be held in four weeks after Gordon Brown wastold by aides he will never have a better chance of winningand senior Tories admitted they feared defeat.
The Prime Minister is under huge pressure from his closest allies to call anElection on Oct ober 25 after new private polls by both parties show him with aclear lead over David Cameron in the all-important ratings for statesmanship.
One of Mr Browns allies told The Mail on Sunday: Gordon is about the only onewho is not convinced that we have to do it now.
All our research suggests we would winand win well. But he is so cautious he will not commit himself. Unlesssomething unexpected occurs in the next week or so, we are determined to makehim go for it. Politicians from all three parties were gripped by Electionfever yesterday as Mr Brown prepared for the Labour Party conference inBournemouth, which begins today.
He will use his speech tomorrow to urge his supporters to help Labour win afourth successive term. He will not announce an Election, but could do so nextweek to sabotage the Tory conference.
If Mr Brown opts to go to the country on October 25, he has until October 2, aweek on Tuesday, to inform the Queen of his decision.
A spokesman for Mr Cameron said the only reason Mr Brown was considering anearly Election was because he knew Britain faced serious problems next year.
If Gordon Brown calls an Election now it will be because he knows there istrouble ahead, said the spokesman. The economy is not in great shape and thereare serious problems on a whole range of issues. The spokesman denied theTories were jittery about an Election after the latest polls showed Mr Cameronon 33 per cent, six points behind Mr Brownno better than the ratings of his predecessor, Michael Howard.
We have always said that if we get the chance to prove ourselves we will takeit, said the spokesman. The key point we have to get across is why Brown isgoing early. It can only be because he knows things are going to get worse. Butas Tory officials said the party had already raised a [pounds sterling]10million Election fund,other sources were less bullish. …