Will Gord’s ovation be longer than IDS’s in 2003?
After the speculation here on the site a week ago Ladbrokes have a market on the length of the standing ovation for Gordon Brown at the end of his speech tomorrow morning.
The big question is whether Gord can outdo Iain Duncan Smith – the last main party leader who faced a conference with so many questions about his leadership. On October 9th 2003 the applause at the Tory conference went on for an excruciating eight minutes encouraged, it would appear, by some strategic placement of party cheer-leaders at the front of the hall.
Alas such a display of support did him no good. Just 22 days later – IDS failed to win a confidence vote amongst Tory MPs thus opening the way for Michael Howard’s coronation.
The latest odds are 5/2 that Gord’s ovation will go on for eight minutes and 1/4 that it won’t.
It’s hard to say how this will play because there will be a massive desire amongst delegates in Manchester to put on a public display of unity after all the questions about Brown’s future. But eight minutes, as anybody who remembers 2003 will tell you, is a heck of a long time.
NOTE: The YouTube clip above is the only video record I have been able to find of the 2003 speech. If anybody knows of anything better could you drop me an email.