Close, but not close enough …

Alan Johnson, Ed Miliband and Alastair Darling have come out in favour in Brown and it appears that David Miliband and Jack Straw will do shortly. It’s hugely unlikely that Harman would go it alone so doubtless she’ll release a statement in due course. A secret ballot requires a cabinet members support.

This afternoon, Hoon and Hewitt have merely managed to further weaken their party and its leader and deflect from the positive coverage Brown would have got from a strong Prime Minister’s Questions. Left Foot Forwards has also picked up on a further Tory U-turn on marriage policy, which is now completely buried by Labour infighting. It could have been quite a good day for Brown, but now it’s a total disaster and it’ll take weeks to fully move on from this.

What’s especially evident is that many in the Cabinet did get close to pushing Brown out. They took hours to make statements of support and then Ed Miliband, Alan Johnson and Alastair Darling released them at roughly the same time. That makes it look as though they were all discussing it, I wonder how close to the brink they got.

If they’re willing to do that in a good week for the PM when he gets Cameron on the back foot and has a strong Prime Minister’s Questions, what will they do come a hung parliament? Judging from today, unless Brown wins an overall majority (which the polls aren’t predicting), he won’t be the next Prime Minister. Did they decide today who would be?

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