I cannot recall such a febrile political atmosphere as there has been in the last few weeks and it seems to be building up to a spectacular crescendo which could see Gordon Brown ejected from Downing Street. Michael Crick on Newsnight last night gave him a no better than 50% chance of surviving the next few days as PM.
It may seem a bit unfair that the expenses scandal could precipitate Brown's defenestration but politics is a rough game and the crisis has occurred on his watch whilst he tried his best to keep the revelations secret. Listening to Shaun Woodward trying to defend Gordon Brown yesterday, I almost pitied him. Every single thing that he claimed were substantive issues that Mr Brown was best placed to tackle were all problems that he has been involved in creating in the first place (recession, expenses, cleaning up politics, trying to save jobs etc.).
There seems to be this tendency amongst Labout ministers to answer questions about the problems by listing the things that Gordon Brown is doing (or trying to do) and by implication nobody else could do anywhere near as good a job. In which case why are so many ministers resigning and Labour at its lowest poll ratings ever?
I am going to stick my neck out here but I now think this crisis will end the premiership of Gordon Brown by the end of this month. Events move fast in politics and I think the results of the elections today and the aftermath coupled with everything else from the last few weeks will cause his downfall. A consequence of that I think will be an election in the Autumn whoever becomes Prime Minister (and I wouldn't want to bet on who that will end up being)!
Does anyone wish to stick a tenner on at evens with me for this? Mr Crick reckons them's the odds. I will only take on one bet BTW, I'm not stupid!
UPDATE: (04/06/2009 - 18:06) I have posted this in the comments below:
Right the bet's on with Kalvis as he responded first.
I am also honouring the same bet with Charlotte Gore as she posted on her own blog that she would take the bet before Kalvis responded here but I did not make clear where the bet had to be posted. I will not take any more though as it was supposed to be only one!
I also feel that I should have been clearer about the terms of this. I am not interested in the inner workings of the Labour party and whether it takes them 23 days or 46 days or whatever to choose another leader and whether Brown stays on as caretaker PM in the interim. If he announces he is resigning and the leadership contest is triggered this month then I have won the bet.
As I was not totally clear about this, I am fine if Charlotte or Kalvis no longer wish to continue with it, otherwise it's game on!
Perhaps they could let me know below.