Britain Sugar Bowls and Election Fever

A generous Conservative budget foreshadows an early vote

"Budget day" in Parliament is always tinged with politics, a time when the government's Chancellor of the Exchequer tries to sweeten his economic plan for the coming year with at least a spoonful of sugar. But last week, when Chancellor Nigel Lawson arrived at the House of Commons with his 25-page budget, he brought along an entire sugar bowl. In a somber, 59-minute speech, Lawson cut taxes, pared government borrowing and placed Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in an excellent position to call national elections as early as June.

In a package that he said "errs on the side of prudence," Lawson...