The Labour party now has three weeks to save itself from oblivion. The only question facing MPs is whether the open fratricide that would follow a challenge to Gordon Brown would be preferable to the death by a thousand humiliating cuts if the Prime Minister sits tight at Number 10.
The European and local council elections on 4 June have been as good as written off by the party. Beyond the Prime Minister’s inner circle there is now a tangible fury at Gordon Brown, with the Damian McBride affair, the Gurkha fiasco and the expenses scandal merely reinforcing what they knew already about the Prime Minister. Where there was once grudging respect and then pity there is now barely disguised disdain. One Labour backbencher told me this week: ‘If on 5 June Alan Johnson was minded to say he was a candidate, a large number of people would crush Gordon in the rush to nominate him. Gordon Brown is destroying the Labour party.’
And Polly Toynbee agrees in The Guardian.