10 May 2010

Betting on the Labour leadership

I never place bets so this is strictly theoretical from a personal perspective... but I find the discussion of odds etc. fascinating. So there you go.

We now know there will be a Labour leadership campaign within the next 4 or 5 months. William Hill are offering 4/7 on David Miliband, 8/1 on Alistair Darling, 10/1 on Alan Johnson, 11/1 on Ed Miliband and 12/1 on Ed Balls.

Scratch Darling - he's said he doesn't want it. (Not always conclusive I know, but we have to start somewhere.) Dave Miliband (formerly known on these pages as "MicroBlair" but that seems a little passe now) is probably the favourite but no way is he anything like 7-to-4 on IMHO. If I was placing a bet I'd in fact place two bets - one on Johnson, one on Ed Miliband.

Because there are two ways this could go: "safety first" and "punting on a youngster". And I would argue that Johnson is the obvious safe bet - popular with the general public, likes PR, would be good in a coalition. Ed is the youngest, freshest serious candidate. I think Dave Miliband might get squeezed between the two. (Of course, Dave and Ed might reach some accommodation not to both stand).

I don't think Ed Balls will make the cut, I really don't.

Any other wild cards out there? Harriet Harman might try but I just don't think she's popular enough to win. Jack Straw - maybe. Jon Cruddas - a fascinating option if he did stand, but I would imagine he might do a deal with Ed for a top job if Ed gets it instead.

Just when we thought things couldn't get any more exciting... almost a surfeit of political drama this year.

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