Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ace punter bets against Brown

Hat tip to Guido for drawing this to my attention, but Mike Smithson at the influential site has today called the Labour leadership election against Gordon Brown.

This may of course reflect the fact that Gordon is currently very poor value at around 1-3 on compared with more attractive bets like 13-1 on Alan Johnson and John Reid, but nevertheless given the impact that political punters can have (remember the Chris Huhne betting ramp?) I think this is significant.

Smithson's case is that Brown is not a natural campaigner, and that if the election becomes contested, he will find it hard actually asking for votes he believes should come to him by right. He touts the most likely alternative as Johnson, arguing that he has the killer instinct Brown lacks.

I don't happen to agree with this - in my view Brown has enough of the unions and MPs' votes sewn up to be defeated in the constituency ballot and still win comfortably overall - but the fact that such a possibility is even being canvassed will doutbless add succour to his enemies - of which there are many.

1 comment:

skipper said...

Yes, it's interesting that 'speculators' can ruin aspirant political careers as well as currencies or economic policies. But I agree that GB has great strength already in the bag in the form of the unions and, grudgingly in some cases, the PLP. Most activists I have met, moreover, seem to be for him too as his was about the only record which did not provoke contummely on the doorstep during those recent elections.