What are the chances of him still being there on election day?
Probably the best long-term market where we can plot trends on betting attitudes to Gordon’s survival is the one from Betfair on the line-up of party leaders at the general election.
When it was opened, in June 2007, Ming Campbell was in the mix. He’s now moved on and the “runner” that reflects views on the PM’s survival is the Brown/Cameron price.
Surprisingly this market has not attracted the money that you might have expected – certainly it is nothing like as popular as a similar one with IDS/Blair/Kennedy in the years before the 2005 election.
But the trend is clear – punters now believe that someone other than Mr. Brown will lead Labour at the next general election.
My own soundings bear this out and I am told that the “Gordon must go” positions now being taken by the Guardian columnists, Jackie Ashley and Polly Toynbee have been particularly influential.
What I have not yet heard is a plausible plan as to how his departure could be choreographed. How is a move going to be made and who are going to stick their heads above the parapet?
During his long years at the Treasury the Brown team built up a formidable reputation for their ability to brief against those that were seen as a threat to their boss – the main reason, many believe, why he got his coronation.
Going openly against Gord has never been seen as a good career move – maybe that is now changing?