By Political Correspondent David Davin-Power

Rarely has a political decision been so finely balanced and so widely anticipated. 

Indeed it is that anticipation, speculation and surmise that has now become an element in the equation itself.

For months confined to political circles, the date of the election is now the subject of popular discussion outside the beltway, and risks becoming an election issue in its own right.

The pros and cons are plain for all to see. A November poll will catch the ball on the hop, as in the words of floating voter Celia Keenan on Morning Ireland recently.

It will certainly catch the main opposition parties on the hop; Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin's preparations aren't as advanced as those of Fine Gael.

But with Labour still languishing in the polls an early date won't suit Joan Burton, nor by extension her partners in Government who need Labour to top 10% if the Coalition is to stand a chance of being returned.

An early election will scupper the banking inquiry; one government figure to whom I spoke says the defence is already prepared here, to the effect that we have heard all the testimony and any report would be unlikely to tell us anything we don't know already. 

Given the millions already spent on the inquiry that argument would seem a bit tawdry if it had to be deployed.

An election on the heels of the Budget would leave the Government open to charges of buying the voters.

The electorate won't feel the benefits of being bought until the New Year, and the charge might resonate all the more because of that, with an election budget morphing seamlessly into a budget election.

As against all that, the danger of waiting until March is the age old political minefield of 'events,  dear boy, events'.

There are known unknowns such as trolley lists and flu epidemics. 

But unknown unknowns are the real fear. Never will a set of budget proposals be more closely scrutinised for political landmines.

In the end though Enda Kenny may take the long view, which argues that poll ratings tip upwards in January and February as the budget benefits begin to flow. 

A March election would allow for an orderly campaign even if it allowed the Opposition parties time to marshal their forces.

And of course it would allow Enda Kenny as Taoiseach to cloak himself in the mantle of 2016 in the run up to (and presumably after) the Easter Rising centenary.

It could be though that Enda Kenny has yet to make up his mind. But he doesn't have much time left. 

The Dáil is on a mid-term break for the week beginning 26 October and a November election would have to be called before then, most likely on Wednesday the 21st of this month, or the following day.

Then, if the Taoiseach isn't to have to pay out on that wager with his former colleague Ivan Yates, we're looking at a polling day somewhere after 20 November.

So November, February or even March? An increasing number of TDs of all parties are just saying 'bring it on'.