What’s the cumulative effect of stories like this?
On top of the overnight news of the disastrous ICM poll figures for Brown there is this attack on him this morning in the Financial Times which has the potential to be seriously damaging and to stick.
For a former permanent secretary to the Treasury and cabinet secretary to go on the record with an attack like this in the FT is quite unprecedented and at the very least will provide more material for Cameron-Osborne who have made Brown’s character and style the centre of their attacks.
Whether it will harm the Chancellor’s position within the Labour party is hard to say – but I have reduced my Brown betting positions by Â£700 overnight and will be looking for opportunities to get rid of more.
For the closer Tony’s departure gets the more stories like this will emerge and this could encourage a serious challenge.
Meanwhile this morning’s ICM poll in the Guardian is not going to ease the jitters within Labour about the succession. For the pollster to now be finding a 15% Tory lead when the “named leader” voting intention question was put is serious.
Unlike some others within the polling industry Nick Sparrow, the boss of ICM, rarely comments on his findings but today he’s given a quote to the Guardian which really sums it up. “”To judge from the data, what you are left with is the fact that Cameron is an asset to his party and neither Brown nor Campbell are”. You do not need to add much more.
The main argument in favour of Brown succeeding is that famous Maggie phrase “TINA – there is no alternative”. Agreed – but nature abhors a vacuum.
Latest leadership betting is here.