There are a few things the govt did recently updating the registry of voters [link]and publishing the boundaries of polling districts[link] that makes an early election this year possible. If you think hard about it, an election is not just possible it is highly probable:
1. This recession will last until next year according to most economists. Any recovery will be weak and we will hardly be in a Golden Period in 2011 when an election is due.
2. At the rate this economy is plunging, the recession will be very deep and painful by the 3rd quarter. The small window is between now and the middle of the year. If this window is missed, they will have to do it in 2010 when things can get very bad and the populace disillusioned by the neverending crisis - GIC & Temasek losses, jobless, falling property & stocks prices. Like it or not our economy depends more on what Uncle Sam can do than what our own govt can do.
3. There is growing resentment and restlessness among a growing segment of the population. The growing influence of the new media and lost of control over information.
I believe an election will be held before the middle of this year. It is likely to be a snap election to catch the opposition off guard and not give them sufficient time to bond with the masses. If the opposition wants to gain any ground, they have to start doing work now.