There now seems to be a general consensus across what might broadly be described as the political and media classes that Gordon Brown will be the next Prime Minister, and that the process for the handover is already under way.
According to this piece by Nick Robinson the Chancellor no longer greets questions about the succession with gruff denials.
But while I would by and large go along with this conventional wisdom, I would - to paraphrase John Cole's comment about the downfall of Margaret Thatcher - keep 1pc of my mind open to the possibility that Gordon is being rather royally set up.
Eighteen months is an awfully long time in politics, and if at any point Gordon appears to be taking the succession - and more importantly the Labour Party - for granted, then the mood could quickly change.
It is not impossible that someone like Alan Milburn could capitalise on a groundswell of resentment among Labour members at what might appear like an establishment "stitch-up." And this might be exactly what the Blairites are secretly hoping for.
If I were Gordon, I would revert to the "gruff denial" strategy - and fast.