Gordon Brown has seen his reputation collapse in his year as UK prime minister: once the colossus of the Labour Party who enjoyed buoyant poll ratings, he is now so diminished that many in his own party want him to resign. To mark the first anniversary of his elevation to prime minister, the Guardian provides an in-depth look at the event that changed everything—Brown's decision to cancel a snap election he probably would have won.
As Brown's numbers soared, his young circle of advisers pushed for a poll in October—one even bought a new coat for the stump. But just days before the planned announcement, the new PM became worried about a smaller-than-expected victory and called off the vote. Once seen as tough and decisive, the election debacle re-branded him as a "disingenuous ditherer," and once he does call an election he now might not win at all.