James Forsyth

The plot is on life support

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The Hoon and Hewitt attempt to force a secret ballot on Brown's leadership is not off to the best of starts. If it is not dead on arrival it is certainly on the critical list.

Even those who think Labour would be better off without Brown are unimpressed by this attempt. One texted me just now saying 'outcome same as previous crap attempts: no change at top but shave 5% in polls.'

Certainly, the timing seems poor. Trying to compete with the snow is not the best idea nor is launching this campaign at a time when Labour had managed to score some points against the Tories.