Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Blair Expected to Finalise May 5 Poll Date

LONDON (Reuters) - Tony Blair will hold a special cabinet meeting today where he is widely expected to confirm plans to call a general election on May 5.

Politicians, media and financial markets have long ago factored in that date, but Blair -- who by law can choose when to call an election provided it is within five years of the last one -- has so far stayed tight-lipped.

The prime minister's Downing Street office confirmed on Tuesday the plan for an irregular 'political cabinet' meeting on Thursday and sources at the Labour Party said ministers would use it to rubber-stamp the May 5 date.

Blair will announce the date next week prior to dissolving parliament, the sources said.

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