Mike Smithson has made a brave call, reckoning Brown will not be leader, which may be right in Guido’s view. Of the post local election strategy he phrases it thus:-
Extraordinarily Camp Brown did not seem to have a closure plan. It was as though the strategy was to make a lot of noise and then expect Tony just to walk away and hand over the keys?
Guido phrases it more succintly – Brown hasn’t got the balls. Not sure how much money Smithson has staked on his analysis, but if memory serves me correct he had money on Gordon as a sure thing, tipped Alan Johnson as a good bet and has a few quid on Hilary and Miliband. Guido laid Miliband at 14/1 (now 23/1). Guido agrees that the prices are too short on Brown and too long the best of the rest. So Miliband aside (not a chance) Guido feels John Reid is also worth a good punt – pile in until he has parity with Johnson. He is in many ways a stronger candidate than Alan Johnson. Not to be PM, but to lead Labour. Reid is not going to let Brown claim the leadership for free, he happily tells people how historically Labour front-runners rarely become leader. Back Reid, Lay Brown and Milband – “wear diamonds” – as we used to say in the square mile.