How strong are his opponents within the parliamentary party?
As each day has gone by since his third successive General Election victory the widely held view that Mr. Blair would stand aside for Mr. Brown relatively soon has been on the decline.
One of the site’s regular commentators, the Labour MP, Nick Palmer, posted this observation….I currently expect TB to serve most of the Parliament and the new leader (presumably Gordon) to call an election for a renewed mandate shortly afterwards; I expect him to get it, too. In the PLP at least, and I think the wider party, pressure for an early TB departure has largely evaporated – the extreme critics are widely seen as having overreached themselves – and I doubt if Gordon wants to have 3 years of corrosive press nagging before he can go for a mandate.
Only at the weekend the price on Blair going during 2005 was as tight as 2/1 but this is now 3/1.
Now the betting focus is on whether Blair can stay at Number 10 for longer than the eleven and a half years of Mrs Thatcher. Following the French ‘non’ vote, William Hill have shortened the odds against him achieving this from 8/1 to 6/1. If you want to bet that his term will be shorter the price is 1/12.
Mrs. Thatcher became Prime Minister on May 4th 1979 and her emotional departure took place on November 28th 1990. Tony Blair’s tenure at Number 10 began on May 2nd 1997 so that to win the bet he would need to be still there on November 27th 2008.
But such a bet is not without a big risk and the rumblings in the Labour party continue. The Independent’s Colin Brown has reported that a number of Labour MPs are urging Gordon Brown to make “his move” against Tony Blair.