Politics ends in exhaustion. The end of the New Labour era is scored deep across Gordon Brown’s crumpled countenance. All that remains of the energy and excitement that swept the party to power 13 years ago is the mantra that David Cameron’s Conservatives would ruin things.

The votes have yet to be cast in Thursday’s general election. Until they are counted the prime minister will cling on to the hope that something might turn up. Perhaps Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats will indeed break Britain’s political duopoly – or at least deprive Mr Cameron of a governing majority. Maybe, just maybe, Labour could hold on in a coalition.

Mr Brown’s colleagues do not sound hopeful. Many are rehearsing the excuses for defeat. Some are laying plans for the blood-letting they expect to follow. Will the party swing left into the hands of Ed Balls, the prime minister’s long-time protégé? Or will David Miliband, the foreign secretary, keep it rooted in the politics of the centre left? Read full article in the Financial Times...