Something has to give. An unelected Prime Minister with the confidence of less that one in five voters does not provide a platform for governing, or electoral mandate. Add in a weak and widely discredited Parliament and the only person left who does not want an election is the guy who is supposed to call for one.
Here's another thought. Over the past decade, probably the most hotly debated issue on the political left was the Iraq war. There are other big issues, but the Iraq War probably drew more debate and vitriol than any other issue. The focal point of those arguments was actually the man at the figure head, George W Bush. Despite an attempt to impeach him and efforts veto his defence plans in Iraq, at no point (that I have been able to track via Google) did he fall below 30% in an opinion poll. Gordon Brown is on 18% and sliding. I accept this is an apples and oranges analogy, with fewer alternative voting options in the States - but the numbers still strike me as poignant. The former President has recently polled 41% favourable / 57 unfavourable on retrospective opinion via CNN. Gordon Brown will probably sell his cabinet down the river for a mid-twenty poll vote now.
There was with Mr Dubya's departure a sense of re-birth and refreshed thinking during and following the US election. President Obama was being heralded, and even former Republican Cabinet members were backing him. The same is true of the UK today. Only an election can heal our wounds now. The people of the United Kingdom separated by thousands of regional dialects and local traditions, we are a union of separate nations; there has never been a feeling so widely shared by so many within this fraught union as the outright embarrassment felt when Gordon Brown makes a public appearance and opens his mouth (or god forbid, grins).
I do not see Brown recovering and I really hope that those attending the Parliamentary Labour Party meeting tonight, and those Cabinet members who know they are out of their jobs next week have a long hard think. The people want an election, the media wants an election, anyone standing down as an MP and holding on for a pay-off wants an election - the Labour Party is going to suffer long term damage without an election. So, why not have an election? The issue needs to be forced, but it will not be forced by opposition, it will need to be from within the Parliamentary Labour Party.
It would seem to me the lack of an heir-apparent is the biggest stumbling block, but someone is going to have to step forwards, and that person will have to put their personal ambitions to the side and put the good of the Labour Party and the country ahead of such ambitions.
Today the Chancellor gave up the fight, is there anyone left in the Labour Party who is up for one?