The eye of the storm
By Ian Dunt
A strange sense of calm pervades Westminster today as plotters against the prime minister lie low until Britain finishes voting in the local and European elections.
The last two days have been some of the most bloody and frantic in Labour party history, with a raft of senior figures, including Jacqui Smith and Hazel Blears, quitting the government.
Plotters are urging backbench Labour MPs to put their name to a letter calling on the prime minister to resign, with some sources indicating they could achieve up to 150 signatures by early next week.
But with voting underway in the local and European elections today, Labour figures are lying low so as not to appear disloyal to the party.
One Labour backbencher told politics.co.uk many of his colleagues simply believe Labour will “just do better” if the party has a different leader at the general election.
The truce spirit is expected to die at 22:00 BST tonight, as the polls close and the crisis begins again.
The results are expected to be devastating for Labour.
Local results will come in first – mostly tomorrow. Then European results will come on Sunday night, potentially forcing the plotters into their endgame strategy.
Mr Brown’s fate could be sealed if Labour slip into fourth place behind Ukip, or if party support dips below 20 per cent.