As Gordon Brown decamps to Chequers this weekend with his inner cabinet, to consider the pros and cons of holding a snap election, he may be reviewing the local by-election results from yesterday (and yes, this time I'm indebted to U6th politics student and fellow blogger C.H.Daly!). The Conservatives made some useful inroads in the vote in places as diverse as Sunderland and Kent (see the BBC story here). So perhaps the notoriously cautious Brown will indeed wait for a new spring before contemplating his election prospects?
Nick Robinson recorded a short piece for the 'Today' programme (7.15 spot on Listen Again) repeating the view he has been expressing in his blog, that Brown is currently much nearer to calling an election than he has been since taking office. For robinson, the turning point was the Northern Rock crisis, and its failure to impede the government's poll advantage. But, of course, actual polls - like yesterday's by-elections - can tell a different story.
Clearly, much now depends on the performance Cameron gives this week at his party conference. Until we see that, election fever will remain in the air.