Will it be Balls in – Darling out?
Lots of talk today about who would replace Alistair Darling as chancellor and one man whose name keeps on coming up is Ed Balls – the former public school boy who has probably the closest relationship with Brown of any minister in the cabinet.
He spent more than a decade as his top advisor and has long been tipped for a top position in a Brown government. It was Balls who played a key role exactly a year ago in stoking up the speculation about an early election.
But is he the right man to restore confidence? Is having someone who combines arrogance with gabbling his words the right person for a key position as the economy becomes more centre stage?
One of Brown’s biggest failings is in not seeing the importance of communication skills. There are simply not the big hitters amongst his top team who are capable of presenting an argument in a compelling way that wins public support.
Undoubtedly Balls knows his stuff when it comes to economic management – but that is only just a part of the skill-set required.
On Betfair he is just over 2/1 to be next chancellor – might be worth a little bet.
New Populus poll. There’s a new survey out this evening. I’ll update this article as soon as I get details – provided my internet connection holds up.