Britain may have the next general elections on May 6, a British government minister has indicated.

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth told Sky News television in an interview that voters will “wake up and rue the day if they wind up with a Conservative government in charge of the country after May 6.”

Although his spokesman later said he was merely “speculating”, the comments added fuel to speculation that Prime Minister Gordon Brown will call the national poll for May 6.

Mr. Ainsworth is the third minister to speculate on the poll date.

Earlier, Health Minister Andy Burnham and Europe Minister Chris Bryant have also mentioned that date in recent weeks.

Mr. Burnham corrected himself moments after to say the election would be “later this year”, while Mr. Bryant’s office later said he did not know the exact date of the election.

A Downing Street spokeswoman declined to comment on Mr. Ainsworth’s remarks as she said it was a party political matter.

An ICM poll on Sunday’s News of the World said that the Conservatives were on track for a comfortable victory over Brown’s Labour party, but Mr. Ainsworth said that there was still a chance to win back public support.

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