SLOG FIRST WITH THE BUILD-UP AGAIN
BROWN/MORGAN INTERVIEW ‘RESEARCHED FOR VOTER REACTIONS’
In a temporary display of unity inside the Number Ten Election Circle, Prime Minister Gordon Brown in being increasingly advised to go for a late March election, The Slog has learned.
After revealing last Thursday that Lord Mandelson has been pressing the PM to go to the country early (and make a quick decision) it seems the Brown ‘wobble’ about a bad opinion poll the next day has been overtaken by events in the Labour hierarchy.
We understand that peace has broken out inside Number Ten – and acknowledge a debt to Peter Oborne in today’s MoS for making the nature of Campbell’s re-entry into the mix clear. Both Mandy and Big Ed have temporarily put their handbags away. There is a majority in favour of March 24 as the election day.
In a separate but related development, we also understand that audience reaction to the Brown/Morgan interview – to be screened tonight – was generally positive. Most media coverage of the previewed programme has been at worst dubious and at best positive – better than the election planners could have foreseen. A further source also claims that four focus groups among female Undecideds have been shown the programme, and pronounced it generally an honest portrayal of Gordon Brown’s sorrow at the loss of his daughter four years ago.
This morning, Andrew Marr announced at the end of his show that Lord Mandelson would be his star performer next Sunday. A senior BBC source has suggested that this was only clinched in the last 24 hours.
Of course, an hour is a long time among the Brownshirts. But as things stand,this looks like the start of a New Labour mobilisation.