If the forthcoming election really will be all about capturing the female vote, Gordon Brown went out all guns blazing with an online chat on the Netmums website, on Mother’s Day.

What Sarah Brown thought of her husband spending Mothering Sunday in front of a computer isn’t recorded.

Mumsnet contributors described Mr Brown as a “slapper”, and “unfaithful tart”, for shifting websites

But the prime minister took the opportunity to virtually speak to the key audience of “mainstream mums”, with a pledge to amend the NHS constitution to legally guarantee mothers the right to choose where to give birth.

Mr Brown promised that the government’s maternity strategy, due to be announced formally later in the week, would also ensure that all women would be offered the choice of giving birth at home.

But the National Childbirth Trust, The Guardian reported, pointed out that mums were supposed to be able to choose by the end of last year where their child would be born, and that their research showed this goal was still a long way off.

The government’s maternity strategy is likely to be a main plank in attempts to woo the maternal demographic, which has been identified as crucial in marginal seats.

But the decision among political strategists both to target mums, and to go virtual, is not without its dangers.

The Daily Mail reported that posters on rival chat website Mumsnet, where Gordon Brown had previously refused to reveal his favourite biscuit, were fuming into their keyboards at what they saw as a prime ministerial snub with his switch to Netmums.

Mumsnet contributors described Mr Brown as a “slapper”, and “unfaithful tart”, for shifting websites, the Mail said.