When James Purnell quit the Cabinet I said that Brown would be gone by the end of next week. Most Tories would probably rather like him to stay. As Labour friends of mine said many years ago, Iain Duncan-Smith was one of their greatest assets, likewise today, Brown is the greatest asset the Tories have. That at least is the received wisdom.
I still, personally think, that Brown will not last the coming week. However, I don't think it's going to happen in a big walk out of Downing Street crying type way. The fact is though, no matter what way his supporter try to spin it, he's finished. When the CEO of country sees five of his boardroom walk out there is something wrong with the head of the board. Period.
Add to that the act of walking, and the letters written which either (a) say he's crap, or (b) note that he's a misogynistic bastard, and you're in for trouble. Or how about the ones who walk that tell the world that "now is not the time to explain my reasons". Those are the words of someone who's thinking of the timing to pull the trigger and join the rest.
Today it doesn't rest either. Caroline Flint, having kicked Brown squarely in the gonads, is back in the Sunday Times having another pop at him, with the expected and standard line of saying what she is saying for the good of the party. I fully expect some more words from John Hutton over the next few days.
Then we have those that are left in the Cabinet fighting like school children. We have leaked memos from the Prince of Darkness himself, Peter Mandelson, saying Brown is "insecure" and laying into him as weak. Who do you think leaked that? My money is on Mandelson himself, and it is telling of Brown's weakness that such a thing could be leaked and he is not sacked instantly.
There are other things though which make the axe hanging over Brown's head so much closer to its target. The local election results have shown how hated Labour really are. It was always going to be a whitewash, but to see Council swing to the Tories from Labour where the latter is reduced from seats in the 40s to just 16, puts Brown in sever peril. No amount of expectations management can spin it as mid to late-term blues.
Then of course we have tonight. Tonight we will see how bad the Euro elections are for Labour. My guess is that if they're in third in the locals then third is likely for the Euros too. If they hold on to second it will be spun as a victory of course. However, if the BNP and UKIP start taking their seats then it will become more difficult for Brown to hang on.
Personally I think the most likely outcome will see Brown forced into making an announcement similar to Blair of his intentions. He still have the opportunity of course to say "back me or sack me" by stating that he's willing to face a vote at the Labour Conference. It's pretty clear that if he stays Labour loses, the question is if he goes will Labour lose as badly?
Does it matter either way?