‘The other day, a Cabinet minister had lunch with a journalist. "What happens if you win?" enquired the hack. The minister looked astonished. It was clear that this possibility had not occurred to him. Having regained the power of speech, he replied: "There'd be an immediate leadership challenge".’
Really? Brown was immovable when trailing by twenty points; a mandate will make him impervious to everything except death and possibly blindness.
A narrow Conservative victory followed by a second election this autumn is a more likely scenario than a Labour win. Would Brown be unseated then? As I wrote on the morning of the Snow Plot, the cold war between Blairites and Brownites will turn hot during the next parliament when their respective disciples decide the party’s future; there will be no pacific grappas in Granita this time round. In addition to second generation Blairites and Brownites, Cruddas and Harman have leadership ambitions for their more independent mindsets.
Will Labour risk an internecine war whilst a second election looms? Of course not. Unless Labour is beaten is outright, Brown will fight on.