Could a Johnson-led party contain more of the losses?
One of the great pieces of wisdom about party leadership betting is that Labour and the Lib Dems always seem to end up with the obvious candidate while being the Conservative front-runner is the “kiss of death”.
So what are we to make of the recent suggestions in several quarters about Alan Johnson’s chances? Hardly a day goes by at the moment without one pundit or another pondering over whether an Johnson-led Labour would be able to reduce the expected seat losses at the election or even, hope among Labour hopes, stopping Cameron from getting an overall majority altogether.
Could it be that the former London postman, who as a child was brought up for a time by his 15-year old sister, is now moving into the “obvious” slot – and if so should you be betting on him?
Jackie Ashley wrote yesterday: “.. The one quality Johnson does have is authenticity – and that is what is needed right now. Labour people aren’t saying they would actually win it, but think that they could limit a Tory majority, or hold them to a hung parliament.”
The idea that a Johnson-leadership is the one that the Tories fear most is starting to gather momentum and you just wonder where this is coming from? It sounds a bit like Mandy to me.
I was pretty impressed by the reported Johnson comments the week before last over how Labour should deal with David Cameron. His main theme was that Labour talks about the Tory leader in positive terms but then raise questions about his party seemed very smart. It chimes, I believe, with public opinion and could sustain him during a three week election campaign.
Yesterday I bet a three figure sum on Johnson at 10/1 as next leader. The betting has now moved in a bit and the best you can get is 8/1.