Analysis: Brown a battler not a bottler
Gordon Brown's whole life story has been about overcoming adversity and coping with tragedy, which has moulded a man who is a battler not a bottler.
There is nothing in the background of the man so committed to a sense of duty in public service, and who so stubbornly pursued his dream of becoming Prime Minister, to suggest that he would be willing to walk away from No 10 when the going gets tough.
But there comes a time for every Prime Minister when, whatever their nature, whatever the polling data says, whatever offers of support - genuine or otherwise - they receive in public, the game is up.
It happened even to the fiercest of battlers, Margaret Thatcher, when her Cabinet ministers told her bluntly that she had to quit, even though she was convinced only a handful of doubters among her MPs needed to be won over for her to stay.
Westminster watchers now wonder whether such a moment has not arrived for Mr Brown.
Cabinet ministers have quit in disorderly fashion and even the normally loyal backbencher Barry Sheerman says: "If the Prime Minister doesn't realise that, across the party, there is a disillusionment with the way the parliamentary party has been consulted, treated and valued, he is heading for trouble."
Mr Brown's reputation for confrontational in-fighting, deserved or not, has done little to win him everlasting loyalty among Labour backbenchers, many of whom now face both the ruin of their reputations in the expenses scandal and the loss of their Westminster seats.
The premier may well be prepared for another 12 months of hard slog through to an election next spring, but his panicky MPs have other priorities.
Mr Brown could yet wrong-foot his potential opponents by declaring early that he will hold an autumn general election, leaving them little choice but to fall in behind him.
Another option would be for his wife Sarah to convince him that his own failing eyesight - the Prime Minister is blind in one eye and has extremely poor sight in the other - and family priorities mean the time has come to take a back seat.
Hers would be the one voice he would certainly heed.
But another year of simply hanging on looks increasingly unlikely, however much it might be Mr Brown's first and last instinct.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Watch a man race the Circle line and win
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
Islamic State: Pope is 'being targeted by Isis', Iraqi ambassador to the Holy See warns
Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton nude pictures exhibition cancelled after artist concedes photos were 'stolen property'
Scotland independence: A nation divided against itself: Brown says SNP are liars. Darling joins in. Salmond fights back
John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
Richard III: Two years after his body was found scientists discover how he died
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...
£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...