either Thursday, 30 October or Thursday, 6 November for the contest.
The November date is the favourite simply because it comes only a day after the expected result of the American presidential election, and if Labour was to lose, party managers believe the bad news would be partly buried by the US coverage.
Apart from the fact that a defeatist attitude of defending a seat by preparing to lose it isn't the best tactic to use when entering an election campaign, a victory in these circumstances could also backfire.
With a 28% majority and no accounting for what events might throw up over the next ten weeks a Labour hold is not inconceivable, whatever the bookies might say. If Labour was to hang on, even by the skin of its teeth, it should be the beginning of Labours fight back; it should be Labour halting the advance of the SNP / the Tories, it should be the beginning of the new beginning for Labour. But what if that message got buried in the coverage of the US presidential election? The knives would still be out for poor Mr Brown and his advisers :-)