And will Devolution-Day be the moment they line up behind Brown?
Following yesterday dramatic meeting between Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams it is becoming clear that Devolution Day – May 8th 2007 – will play a critical part in Tony Blair’s exit time-table.
For the achievement of peace between the communities will become a major element of the Prime Minister’s legacy and provide the backdrop of his historic departure announcement.
And according to the Times this morning May 8th will also be a key moment in Gordon Brown’s plan to become Prime Minister without facing a serious challenge.
The paper reports that on the day of the announcement it has been told “Gordon Brownâ€™s leadership team will try to deter any heavy-weight challengers by demonstrating a massive show of support for him on the day that Tony Blair announces he is going”.
May 8th is also the Tuesday after the elections for the Scottish and Welsh parliaments as well as the local council elections in England when Labour is expected to take a drubbing.
The news from Belfast and the linkage to Blair’s exit has caused a big change in the departure date betting. Because the Betfair market is on the date when Blair ceases officially to be leader Q2 2007 has now become the 0.74/1 favourite.
Meanwhile after all the goings on over the weekend the Guardian is quoting the comment on the site yesterday by Nick Palmer MP about the settled mood of Labour MPs about the Brown succession.
So given that everything is now apparently sorted in UK politics for the next few years what are we going to talk about on Politicalbetting?
But what’s that old saying – “There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip”?