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Are the credits already rolling for Britain's embattled Gordon Brown?

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LONDON – As political rebellions go, this one's already got a snappy title: 'The Hotmail Coup."

A plot to unseat Britain's beleaguered Prime Minster Gordon Brown is reaching a climax among senior members of Britain's ruling party, who are thought to be using the popular e-mail service to lay the groundwork for a heave that could take place against their leader as early as next week.

After months of negative headlines on everything from the economy and his supposed lack of charisma , to a recent scandal about excessive expenses claims by parliamentarians (click here for a story on the woes facing Parliament), Mr. Brown is fighting for his political life amid a meltdown in his government, which has seen no less than four of his ministers quit their jobs this week.

The political bloodletting was put on hold today as Britons went to the polls to vote in elections for local councils and the European Parliament (more Monitor coverage of the elections here), the results of which will be the deciding factor in whether Brown is forced out of the prime ministerial offices at London's 10 Downing Street.

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