Balls Out, but Who Next?

Guido has surveyed the runners and riders battling it out to replace Ed Balls as Shadow Chancellor for the Paddy Power blog today. You can read his analysis here, while there are a few other names thrown into the mix below:

  • Alistair Darling – The favourite. Labour needs someone who can give them at least semblance of economic credibility. Darling has the experience, all things considered is relatively liked, and his plan for the economy was arguably more austere than what we have ended up with from Osborne. If Mrs Darling doesn’t mind…
  • Yvette Cooper – Might make things at home a bit awkward. The new Plan B is to get Cooper in as the next leader post-Miliband, so would she even take the job?
  • Alan Johnson – Things could have been so different if it hadn’t been for that unfortunate “personal reasons” business back in 2011. Would be the ultimate revenge for the former Shadow Chancellor.
  • Chris Leslie – Balls’ deputy and Brown’s photocopy boy, Leslie has spent the last few months looking like a rabbit in the headlights in TV interviews that his boss wanted to dodge. A brave bet on account of his general incompetence.
  • Rachel Reeves – In charge of the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury brief until the reshuffle, perhaps boring, snoring Rachel could bore the Tories into submission in 2015. Has friends with Ed’s ear.
  • Liam Byrne – Baldamort rises again? Ed could do worse than sending for the acceptable face of Thatcherism to sort out his party’s economic policy. If only he were not too scared of the unions.
  • Chuka Umunna – Deeply unpopular within his own party, though his background at shadow BIS puts Labour’s pretty boy in the frame. Lord help us.
  • Stewart Wood – Would be nice for Miliband to have a friend as Shadow Chancellor. A long shot given he is a Lord.
  • Hilary Benn – Has an economic background, and it would be fitting for a Bennite to take over the Labour Party. At least Owen Jones would be happy.
  • Peter Mandelson – Would get rid of some of the wealth-creator bashing rhetoric, though is more interested in working for third world dictatorships these days. They couldn’t afford him anyway.
  • Gordon Brown – Things aren’t that bad. Well, not quite.

Once there would have been a worry that Balls would be a threat from the backbenches, and do Yvette’s bidding. After yesterday he’s a busted flush. Let him stew… 

Pic via @HuffPostUKPics.
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