Brown and wife Sarah couldn't stem the tide in their own backyard, holding onto Glenrothes by a slim six thousand plus. The SNP were out-gunned and out-manoeuvred, as the government pulled out all the stops to make sure New Labour did not suffer a humiliating defeat.
The by-election result has surprised many punters who predicted an SNP win.
But a Glenrothes Massacre was not to be. Nor was this a Glencoe Massacre over the Scots, as spinners would now have us believe. But the Dark Lord had been at work.
The date had been fixed for just after the US elections, to bury any defeat. There just wasn't the media frenzy or interest as there had been in previous by-elections.
Downing Street's grip on BBC 'News' was complete. Every opportunity was used to spin and drop a piece of political electioneering into the bulletins.
Schoolmaster and head of Brown's old school, Lindsay Roy, was no Rob Roy. He took every opportunity to bang on about Brown and follow the line written for him:
"I pledge my support to the leader of this country ... Someone who has worked very hard on behalf of all of us, not just in Fife, but in Scotland and the UK during these volatile economic times."
Now where have we heard that last bit before?
You couldn't keep Brown away. And then there was Sarah. A rare asset. Many would be persuaded to vote for her whatever their politics.
The sight of the first lady of Downing Street campaigning, in what was after all a minor by-election, was a unique sight. But it worked. She'd saved Brown's skin once before at the Labour Party conference and she helped do it again.
And then there's the apparent Brown 'bounce'. There's something very disturbing about a guy who caused the economic disaster facing the country now milking it for all its worth.
BBC 'News' may be gloating with its "Labour victorious" headline, trying to justify biased coverage but looking coldly at the results gives the government little comfort.
This was in Brown's backyard. If he couldn't pull it off there, all credibility would be lost.
The swing to the SNP was around 5%. That's a trend still in the right direction for Salmond, in the wrong direction for New Labour. And the LibDems? They are certainly going nowhere.
It's a sign of the arrogance of the New Labour government that there's speculation now Brown may capitalise on Glenrothes and his real or imagined 'bounce' with a general election. But any 'bounce' will be short lived.
He still needs to pull a rabbit out of the hat. And his rabbit may be waiting in the wings, in the shape of the long-awaited troop withdrawal from Iraq.
Politics is all about timing. This was never going to be another Glasgow East. In Glenrothes, Brown and New Labour happened to be in the right place at the right time.