What if the gathering doesn’t meet expectations?
There’s an interesting observation by Steve Richard in the Indy this morning comparing next week’s G20 to “the excitement about the early election in the autumn of 2007” which, of course, Brown was widely seen to have bottled out of and was what prompted his first opinion poll collapse.
Richards recalls that only a fortnight ago Brown was talking about “a grand bargain, a global deal” at next week’s gathering – “Now the bargain looks a little less grand…. the grand bargain is postponed.”
Martin Kettle in the Guardian is less charitable and suggests that Brown’s job might just possibly become an issue again.
“..This…is recidivist Brown. He has set expectations too high. His rhetoric left reality standing. From the moment the summit was mooted, Brown bet the whole farm on the rewards of being seen at the heart of the economic summit. As a result, Thursday’s gathering has been seriously oversold as a transformative political event. The danger for Brown is that now, instead of being hailed as the man who led the global economy out of recession, he risks being dismissed as boastful but ineffectual.
Along with most commentators, I had concluded that the return of Peter Mandelson to the government in the autumn meant that the leadership issue which so convulsed Labour last summer was finally dead until the general election. Now I begin to have doubts. There is talk again, not much but more than for some months, about whether Brown can hold on till the election. The verdict on the G20 will be very important here, as will the budget and the European elections. It can’t just go on like this for another 14 months, one Labour MP complained this week. But it can, and it will – won’t it?”
Labour leadership betting with Harman the 100/30 favourite.
William Hill Politics which has 2/1 on Brown not being leader at the election and 100/30 on an election this year.