Now the carnival is over.

Those were almost the first words by Gordon Brown after he won his Dunfermline East seat.

Democracy can seem very slow at times, but on election night it’s brutally quick.

By the time the chancellor had finished his round of television and radio interviews after his victory, the sports hall at Lochgelly, where the count was held, had already been cleared.

And those interviews didn’t concentrate on the election, which has just ended, but on economics and the future.

Brown was quick to emphasise his prudence once again.

Although Labour will have billions to spend in improving services in the coming months and years the chancellor is obviously determined not to take his eye off the ball.

He also refused to be drawn on the weakness of sterling or the government policy on the euro. ‘I never comment on the foreign exchanges,’ he said, looking as stern as ever. He seemed keen to get back to the office even at one o’clock in the morning.

But despite another landslide, which to a large degree he had organised, Brown remained tight lipped and unemotional, merely reiterating his line that a decision on whether the country had met the five tests he set will be made within two years.

And with that the chancellor headed back to London and the Treasury.

The rumours are his civil servants are preparing a detailed and extensive analysis of those five tests. It’s the kind almost academic work that you can well imagine the chancellor looking forward to reading.

More from Jonty Bloom: analysis, page 4 corridors of power, page 14.

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