Is now the time to put more on?
The chart, based on best betting prices, shows how punters are rating in terms of implied probability the Labour leadership chances of the the Education Secretary, Alan Johnson. After tipping him when his leadership price was 18/1 I’ve now gone into the market again.
Johnson’s chances of winning are much better than 15/2 and as we see today with the Charles Clarke story, the pressure on Blair to go early is gathering momentum. This is a good bet because:-
Continuing Tory polls leads. Ultimately Labour will choose the leader most likely to beat Cameron. Sentiment about Brown’s role will count for little as the party faces the prospect of defeat. From where I sit Johnson looks better equipped than Brown. He’s likable, he’s sharp and, yes, he’s English.
It looks like there will be a contest. The big question mark was whether there would be an election at all. But all the talk about a Brown coronation has been put aside following the aggressive move to crank up the Trident replacement issue knowing how it touches raw nerves within the party. This makes it highly likely that there will be a challenge leaving the road open for Johnson to come in.
Johnson might be the best left-wing way to oppose Brown One of PB.C’s most long-standing Labour contributors, Richard, made this astute observation on Sunday “the more subtle of Brownâ€™s disappointed left-wing followers might realise that theyâ€™re better off with a Blairite like Johnson (who has nothing to prove) than a Gordon Brown who, because of his Scottishness and his irresponsible previous sucking-up to the likes of Bob Marshall-Andrews (recorded in Rawnsleyâ€™s book Servants of the People), feels the need to be more Blairite than Blair.
Johnson’s recent recent appearances have been impressive. His defence of the criminal record check fiasco for teachers on the Today programme last Tuesday took the heat out of what could have been a difficult issue. And his style seemed to go down well with the Question Time audience last week. People respond to politicians who are self-deprecating, generous and lucid.
Take the 7.5/1 that’s currently available.
By-elections competition. Details of this will be posted here at about 6pm.