Blair: The hurdles ahead

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Indy Politics

11 May: Tony Blair addresses Parliamentary Labour Party: Can he regain his authority after his majority was cut by almost 100?

11 May: Tony Blair addresses Parliamentary Labour Party

Can he regain his authority after his majority was cut by almost 100?

17 May: Queen's Speech

How will Labour backbenchers react to controversial plans such as identity cards and anti-terrorism laws?

29 May: Referendum in France on proposed EU constitution

If France votes "yes", Mr Blair will have to go ahead with the referendum he has promised in Britain, creating another dangerous hurdle.

1 July: Britain takes over the rotating presidency of the EU

A French "no" on 29 May would leave Mr Blair with the unenviable job of picking up the pieces and trying to salvage the constitution on behalf of the EU.

6-8 July: Mr Blair chairs the summit of the G8 leading industrial nations at Gleneagles, Scotland

Will Mr Blair persuade US President George Bush to accept measures to tackle climate change?

25-29 September: Labour Party conference in Brighton

Left-wing MPs may mount a "stalking horse" challenge to Mr Blair to try to foment a leadership crisis. But Gordon Brown may keep his powder dry - for now.

December: End of Britain's presidency of the G8 and the EU

After Mr Blair completes his work on the international stage, there could be another wave of demands for him to stand down.

May 2006: Local elections

Another chance for the voters to say they want Mr Blair out. Some people, including Robin Cook, want him to quit beforehand so that Labour does not suffer further losses.

May-June 2006: Britain due to hold referendum on EU constitution

A "no" vote would make it difficult for Mr Blair to soldier on. If Britain votes "yes", even some Cabinet allies would urge him to bow out on a high.

July 2006: A summer of discontent?

Mr Blair is likely to face pressure to resign as party leader but remain as Prime Minister until his successor is chosen in the autumn. If he tries to hang on, left-wing MPs are likely to trigger a leadership contest.

September 2006: Labour Party conference

Mr Blair either bows out to make way for a new leader - or faces a leadership contest. This time, will Mr Brown enter the race?

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