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Monday, 2 April, 2001, 10:51 GMT 11:51 UK
Is Blair tempting fate?
Tony Blair
By BBC News Online's Andy Tate

By ruling out an early general election, Tony Blair has set his face against a very powerful force - the May factor.

May has been good to him ... but early June is unusually fortuitous

Russell Grant
For the prime minister has an extraordinary relationship with the fifth month of the year.

It has served him well in everything from love to politics.

And so stargazers are now wondering whether he is tempting fate by spurning his luckiest of months.

May milestones in his life include:

  • Born in May.

  • Selected as Labour candidate for the safe seat of Sedgefield in May.

  • Stood as Labour leader in May.

  • Won a landslide general election victory in May.

    Family fortunes

    The May factor has also touched the Blair family:

    Tony Blair and Cherie Booth with son Leo.
    Even the Blair family has been touched by the May factor.

  • He first met his future wife Cherie in May.

  • Leo Blair entered the world in May - the first child to be born to a serving prime minister in 150 years.

    Astrologer Russell Grant says the month of May has a "fated appeal" for the prime minister.

    He told BBC News Online that the "quietly superstitious" prime minister had been "driven by an almost obsessive fervour" to hold the general election on 3 May.

    "He feels safe with May - May has been good to him and he knows that his date with destiny is best served by May."

    Mr Grant said a reading of Mr Blair's horoscope showed his destiny was linked "profoundly" with the fifth month.

    Month of power

    But Mr Blair's relationship with May is not unique in politics.

    World leaders who have come to power in the month of May include:

  • Winston Churchill

  • Joseph Stalin

  • Fidel Castro

  • Boris Yeltsin

  • Nelson Mandela

    Not forgetting, of course, Margaret Thatcher, who in May 1979 became Britain's first woman prime minister.

    Russell Grant
    Russell Grant says it's all in the stars

    Heading for disaster?

    So, with his plans for a May election now abandoned, Mr Blair is entering uncharted waters.

    But does this mean his luck may be running out?

    Not necessarily, according to Russell Grant.

    The stars supremo believes that, this year, Mr Blair is "cosmically blessed".

    He says: "Early June is unusually fortuitous for him - because of an infrequent event involving his sun sign ruler, Venus."

    And from Thursday 7 June until mid-July, he says, Venus will spread "auspicious vibes" for the prime minister.

    So if voters finally do go to the polls in June, perhaps Mr Blair would be best advised to forget all about the significance of May in the political calendar.

    Instead, he should be counting his lucky stars in the hope that his good fortune holds out for at least one more month.

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