The Telegraph has a poll today that puts the Conservatives 13 points ahead of Labour. Data for the poll came before the Glenrothes by-election, but that result needs a bit of perspective. It was a safe Labour seat. The major challengers were the SNP, in power in both the unpopular local Council and the Scottish government, and they ran the local Council leader of said unpopular local Council as their candidate. There was also something else: the SNP's key policy is independence for Scotland, pointing to the supposedly successful Scandinavian economies. That played pretty well during the late boom, but now with Scotland's banks baled out by the Bank of England and Iceland demonstrating that a nation can run out of cash, this looks a little less credible. In fact, it looks a lot less credible. So, a number of factors in play that wouldn't apply in an national election. Gordon Brown will not be going for an early poll.
That having been said, there is a window for Brown here on the economy, but to jump through it he would have to junk a lot of what has gone before. Prepare either for U-turns or dogma.