If it’s not Gordon Brown – then who?
The Irish bookmaker, PaddyPower, has created a interesting new market on who will present the next budget. What’s good about it is that it raises so many issues:-
Will Labour win with a decisive majority? Probably, but there’s just a chance that they might falter. If so will Gordon Brown – 4/7 – get replaced or be promoted?
If Brown became PM who would he pick as HIS Chancellor? Could it be his formed advisor Ed Balls – 14/1 – who looks set to become an MP on May 5th? Now that Paul Boateng is on his way to South Africa there is no other senior Labour treasury man so the newly-elected Balls could go straight in to one of the top posts in the Government
If Tony Blair is returned with a substantial majority – will he have the confidence to get rid of his Granita dinner companion from all those years ago? If so could Alan Milburn – 3/1- be given the job or will this be the position where David Blunkett – 12/1 – makes his cabinet comeback?
Is it feasible to think that the Liberal Democrat, Vincent Cable – 33/1- could get the Chancellorship portfolio in a coalition government?
Is Oliver Letwin – 8/1 – a certainty for the post should the Tories defy all the pundits and secure a majority? Well after that hurdle he’s got to have won in Dorset West which is far from certain and a victorious Howard would have to find a place for Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Oddly there are no prices being quoted on rising star, George Osborne, who has played a prominent part in the Tory reply to the budget.
Are there circumstances where Tony Blair himself – 40/1 – could find himself Chancellor?
And could John Prescott – 66/1 – be a good outside chance?
And if you want to throw your money away on a 1000/1 no-hoper then Nick Leeson is your man.
Our money would be on Ed Balls, even though he is not yet an MP, and George Osborne if the price was right.
Â© Mike Smithson 2005