There are reports this morning that the AA thinks petrol prices could reach an all time high of £1.20 per litre in the next few weeks. As Mike Smithson points out this morning, many people in the marginals are particularly sensitive to fuel prices.
There is a 3 pence rise in fuel duty due to come in on 1st April. The fact that Gordon Brown has pushed the election so late means that these budget chickens are starting to come home to roost. The AA has urged the Chancellor to delay this increase and I expect he will do.
However I wonder if Darling will go further and actually cut fuel duty in next week's budget. He could dress it up as a temporary measure due to the very high price of fuel and the economic situation. I bet if Ed Balls was Chancellor he would do it. Darling seems to be more circumspect though and may well dismiss such an idea as a populist gimmick.
Of course the downside is that it would damage the government's green credentials but they may consider this a price worth paying.
It will be interesting to see what if anything Darling does about this.