* Keep the Tories on their toes
* Stop the Tories spending loads more on posters and other General Election type behaviour, that whilst regularly vilified, get them more publicity than the initial cost might have expected. Once the campaign begins, my understanding is that all spending will come in the £18m limit count. The Tories seem to have more than that to spend.
* A budget cannot be anything other than bad news given the dire economic straits in which the UK finds itself
* The increasingly likely double dip recession will not yet have happened (won't it need 2 quarters of negative growth again?)
* More cynically, whilst it won't be a khaki election, he might perceive a benefit if Operation Moshtarak achieves some or all of its goals in the short term - certainly whilst in progress it will limit opposition opportunity to criticise Afghanistan policy
* He might yet get out of the Chilcott enquiry investigation if a General Election is under way
* Avoid the possibility of local election campaigning, due later on this year, impacting and affecting the General Election campaign.
* There's loads of interesting political issues coming in the next few months that he might like to avoid rather than have further problems in the rundown to an election
* He'll avoid any other bad news he knows is going to come his way - I cannot imagine he can expect much in the way of good news.
But maybe more than anything, he might want to believe he has some control still to exert on the body politic instead of being boxed into the last possible date
Or am I just being cynical?