So will the handover day be July 5th?

So will the handover day be July 5th?

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    Is Jackie Ashley right about the departure time-table?

I’ve just discovered this piece by Jackie Ashley in the Guardian today in which she makes a fairly confident assertion about the Labour succession time-table.

If she’s right, and she is known to be very close to the Brown camp, then it looks as though we are heading for a Q3 departure – which has hardened in the past week to become the 0.62/1 favourite.

    The only problem with the bet is how Betfair choose to interpret their rules for the market which is on “When will Tony Blair officially cease to be leader of the Labour Party?”

Now it has been argued that Labour’s rules state that in order to trigger a leadership election then the leader has to resign – and based on what Ashley writes that could be May 11th 2007 – Q2.

Everything depends on the form of Blair’s “I’m going statement”. He could say that he is stepping down but will stay in office until July 5th when the new leader will have been elected. Alternatively he could say he is resigning in May to allow the process to happen.

Mike Smithson

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