Will the Chancellor be the one who brings down Brown?
For someone like me who has been a Brown-sceptic for at least four years it is blindingly obvious that Labour would fare better in the coming election with a different leader.
Mind you I felt the same in the run-up to Brown’s coronation in 2007 and I was wrong then about what Labour MPs would do. It seemed impossible, in my view, that those who wanted to keep their seats would put their fate into the hands of a man who was clearly an electoral liability.
Just over a month ago when the talk was of “a minister to stage what is being termed a â€œnuclear resignationâ€ in the middle of Labourâ€™s conference this autumn which would force Mr Brown out within hours.â€ I speculated that Darling might be the one who would act He only one I could think of who could have that impact.
Since then Brown’s “dithers and evades”, in the words of Rachel Sylvester in today’s Times, over the Lockerbie bomber have just magnified the weakness of his leadership style.
Which brings us to Ephraim Hardcastle’s column in the Mail today when he reports on talk at Westminster that Darling might be the assassin.
But don’t hold your breath although I’m quite tempted by a couple of prices in the PaddyPower “When will Gordon Brown no longer be Prime Minister?”. You can get 5/1 on him going before the end of November and 4/1 that it will be in the period December 2009 to February 2010. This combination seems the best “Brown” out bet although the bookie only accept minuscule bets.