This might turn out to be a decisive moment in Brown's premiership. My sense is that this whole business of a snap election may have started off as something to mess with the Tories' heads, but it's backfired spectacularly. Recent opinion polls - particularly in some marginal seats (the Home Secretary's among them) - showed that one of the better outcomes for Brown would have been a hung Parliament, which would not have been the mandate he needs. So, with everyone sitting on the edge of their seats, Brown made the decision and said there wouldn't be an election this year. Nor next year. Because he wants the election to be fought on his `vision for change' rather than his competence in dealing with crises. But really, as Alex Salmond puts it, all he's done is make himself look like a big feartie.
To be honest, he had very little choice considering the poll results. Going to the country right now would have been madness. But I thought Gordon was a lot smarter than this, and I thought he was supposed to be advised by some of the brightest young political heads in the country at the moment. But they've managed to drop the ball in a quite delicious way. And I really hope the Tories and the Lib-Dems take the opportunity to beat up on him for it.