"Gordon Brown will travel the mile from Downing Street to Buckingham Palace today and launch the most fiercely contested election campaign for a generation.
"He will ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament next Monday and will name May 6 as the day voters decide his fate.
"Within minutes the frenzy of electoral combat will begin. Mr Brown will make a symbolic trip to the South East, showing his determination to hold on to new Labour gains of 1997. David Cameron will head in the opposite direction, taking the fight to Labour in the Midlands and the North."