Well, if Nick Robinson is right, Gordon Brown has bottled it. All summer he has wanted to call an election but at various stages he has chickened out at the last minute. I was told recently that he wanted to call an election in early September but in the end he decided not to. Oh how he must be regretting that decision. The recent polls, and internal Labour polling in the marginals, has persuaded Brown that calling an election would be too risky. And that is down to one man - David Cameron. No one, least of all Gordon Brown, expected such a dramatic turnaround in the polls. It demonstrated the volatility of the electorate. I always felt that for Brown, things could only get worse and this autumn would be the best time for him to get his own mandate. No one knows what is around the corner, but the economy looks very shaky indeed. The Northern Rock crisis is not over yet.

The last week has been incredibly damaging for Brown. The media has turned against him over the ill-judged trip to Basra and he has proved to be the spinner most of us always knew him to be. His attempt to portray himself as "the change", someone who would conduct a new style of politics has been revealed as a sham.

Make no mistake, David Cameron has got out of jail free. He has achieved the greatest political escape in modern history. Few of us would have been confident of a Tory victory, and Brown's decision has given the Party a chance to fight another day.

Brown will give all sorts of excuses for not calling the election - state of the elctoral register, blue tongue, foot and mouth, boundaries in Northern Ireland not ready, not in the national interest, blah, blah, blah, but no one will believe a word of it.

Because everyone really knows that the reason Gordon Brown hasn't called an election is because he couldn't be confident of winning it.

UPDATE: Brown's people are already spinning against Douglas Alexander, according to Adam Boulton, alleging that it's all his fault. Brown is said to be recording an interview with Andrew Marr, his favourite interviewer. Marr must go for his throat. Rarely has a Prime Minister been so humiliated.