Could Labour’s “hand-over” not be the foregone conclusion that it appeared?
The chart shows the changing price on Gordon Brown for the Labour leadership over the past seven days. Three things have influenced the markets; the ICM poll a week ago showing how Brown’s Labour 13% behind; the Communicate Research poll yesterday; and the move by Clarke and Milburn to open up a debate within the party.
The danger for Brown backers is that media pressure combined with concern over poll ratings might cause a serious alternative to Brown to come forward.
Everybody says that Brown has widespread support within the parliamentary party – but then the same thing was being said in favour of David Davis during the Tory leadership race in 2005. People might only be declaring they are for him because he look like the potential winner. As soon as that appears to be less of a certainty then support could fall away.