Do the terms of the market make it a good bet?
The chances are, as far as I can see, that none of them would go public and the likelihood is that Brown will leave of his own accord – probably after a general election defeat.
But under the terms of the market all bets are void “…should any of the below not call for his resignation before he leaves the position.” This means that you only lose if another “runner” on the list makes such a call.
Clearly Labour is going through a febrile period and tensions could be heightened if, next week, the Tories get a conference bounce in the polls. The more a Labour defeat looks likely the greater the chances of public calls for Brown to step aside.
The opening odds on Tony Blair were 100/1 – that’s now moved in to 20/1 – and I wondered whether John Cruddas was the best bet. Of all of them on the list he’s the most independent and most controversial. Purnell might be another possibility but his price is too tight.