I don't think it is overstating yesterday's events to say that this might be the key point of the campaign thus far. Sure, Nick Clegg's performance in the first Leaders' Debate earned him his place at the top table and spiked the Lib Dems poll numbers to make this a genuine 3-way tussle (and a genuine 4-way in Scotland). But "Gordon's Gaffe", as it will be known for generations to come, is probably the point at which Labour's opportunity to turn the poll figures around ended for good.
Of course it was a private thought spoken aloud to an aide in a private moment. Of course no one was supposed to hear it. And of course anyone can make a mistake, and I think the public does have some sympathy with that. But the media storm that has ensued, the PM's reaction - on camera - when he heard what he'd said, his multiple apologies (45 minutes in Mrs Duffy's house!) and the fact that what the woman asked wasn't the least bit bigoted, merely a question that plenty of voters would like an answer to have turned this from private mistake to catastrophe for the PM.
Giving Gordon Brown his credit - he did appear absolutely mortified about what he'd said and the upset that he had caused. And you can take into account the situation - a tough campaign trail, tough questions (though what appeared a pleasant conversation) and what he thought was a private moment. But, ultimately, for a man who wants to return as PM, this was Bush league. I'm not saying he shouldn't be allowed to have thoughts like this about voters. Actually, maybe I am. The politician who discounts what the electorate thinks of an issue as unimportant or bigoted... well, he doesn't deserve to represent the people who he claims to champion. And - according to Iain Dale - Brown has refused to meet the people in his own constituency, ignoring EIGHT hustings invitations. Perhaps this new "meet the people" strategy doesn't stretch to getting himself re-elected.
So - probably the best day of the campaign for the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, and they really didn't do much at all. They certainly got very little coverage for it anyway - and they'll be happy enough with that. My problem though, and its one I've had for a long time, is that candidates are not doing enough to convince people to vote for them. Brown's gaffe yesterday underlines this point in more ways than one. In engaging with the public in the way he has, all he has done is give the electorate one more reason not to vote for his party... or not to vote at all. And many more are leaning towards the latter.