I'm not sure what to feel.
Part of me is relieved - I've not been enthusiastic about an autumn election as I'm not convinced that the Labour vote (notoriously soft) will turn out in the wind and the rain and the dark. It does look a little like cutting and running at the most convenient time (although the Tories were demanding that Gordon go to the country back when he ascended to No 10). It was always going to be a risky job at the best of times and it would have been a thoroughly rushed job.
On the other hand, when this all kicked off seriously over conference week, we were riding high in the polls, Gordon was personally popular (this would have been the Vote Gordon election, make no mistake) and the party was increasingly up for it.
Gordon is going to have to weather a particularly rough week. The consolation is that it will get better - people will forget. We're still in government and we still have the chance to do great things.
It does make a change of leadership more likely in the Liberal Democrats - will Ming fancy stumbling on until 2009 or can we expect the knives to be out (again) towards the end of the year, in what is becoming a traditional biennial event?
There are even rumblings from the Tories. Cameron did well this week and looks very solid on TV tonight, but my source at the Tory conference says that the faithful were dutifully deferent to him, but he was not as well received as others who are also being talked about as potential leaders, like Chris Grayling or even William Hague. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that the next bump in Tory fortunes could see Dave deciding to spend more time with his money.
I remain convinced that we would have won it, but at least this way, it gives those of us in the marginals the chance to have a pop at the opposition. We need our candidates selected and standing up for Labour in every constituency. Onwards!