5.55pm: Portillo says that Brown has gone from walking on water to being sunk.  The Sun’s Trevor Kavanagh says Brown has committed a huge unforced error. 

5.45pm: Join the Facebook group – Brown is a bottler

Andrew Marr, who has just interviewed Gordon Brown, tells BBC News 24, that Gordon Brown has more or less ruled out an election in 2008 as well as this autumn.

5.10pm: Absolutely 100% confirmed.  Brown has told BBC that election is off. 

5pm: Steve Richards of The Independent is accusing Brown of having made a "colossal mistake".  Kevin Macquire is saying that all of this episode has only served to unite the Tories.  John McDonnell MP says that Labour will now be seen as the party of spin again.  Can’t disagree with any of that.

News of the World/ ICM survey gives the Conservatives a 6% lead in the 83 most marginal seats.  This would easily deprived Gordon Brown of his majority.  Fraser Nelson has more hereAndrew Marr must savage Brown on this.  He must not be allowed to say that the electoral register was the reason for him not going to the country.  He’s not going to the country because he knows he would lose.

Sky4.30pm: Sky is reporting that Brown intends to blame the electoral register for his decision to delay. It has nothing to do with polls that will show Labour doing badly against the conservatives tomorrow. Oh no.

Ming4.30pm: Ming Campbell – quick as a flash on BBC News 24 accuses Brown of losing his nerve.  Brown, he says, has traded on his strength, statesmanlike qualities and the end of spin but he’s thrown all of those qualities away.  With no autumn election the LibDems may, of course, take the opportunity to ditch Ming.  In recent weeks his party was squeezed – first by Brown and then by Cameron.

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