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Why June election can't be ruled out

If you want to spring a surprise, spring is the time to do it. Economists hope an election won't happen until the public finances are put right, and that will take at least until 2012. But if an election is held before then, and if this happens because the Government wants it to, next June is the likely month. It could, of course, collapse without wanting to and as we saw last week, that event could happen any time. But that is precisely why, from the Government's point of view, a June election -- an election whose timing it can control -- cannot be ruled out.

As the slog of government gets harder, the coalition's cohesion is likely to continue fraying around the edges, increasing the chances of an unplanned and possibly chaotic election. But this is only one reason why we might be voting in June. Before elaborating on others, let me outline a speech I heard a respected backbench TD give recently. I cannot mention him or exactly what he said, because the speech was off the record.

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