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Balls for the chop? Guido Fawkes on the alternatives after the Shadow Chancellor’s Autumn Statement disaster

by Guido Fawkes | December 6, 2013

End times for Labour’s Ed Balls after his nightmare at the despatch box on Thursday. As ever, Guido gives you the runners and riders battling it out to succeed him as Shadow Chancellor.

  • Alistair Darling – The favourite. Labour needs someone who can give them at least semblance of economic credibility. Darling has the experience, all things considered is relatively liked, and his plan for the economy was arguably more austere than what we have ended up with from Osborne.
  • Alan Johnson – Things could have been so different if it hadn’t been for that unfortunate “personal reasons business back in 2011. Would be the ultimate revenge for the former Shadow Chancellor.
  • Chris Leslie – Balls’ deputy and Brown’s photocopy boy, Leslie has spent the last three months doing the awkward TV interviews and writing up dreary press releases about the cost of living. A brave bet on account of his general incompetence and arrogant style.
  • Rachel Reeves – In charge of the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury brief until the reshuffle, perhaps boring, snoring Rachel could bore the Tories into submission in 2015.
  • Liam Byrne – Cometh the hour, cometh the Baldamort. Ed could do worse than sending for the acceptable face of Thatcherism to sort out his party’s economic policy, if only he were not too scared of the unions.
  • Chuka Umunna – Deeply unpopular within his own party, though his background at shadow BIS puts Labour’s pretty boy in the frame.
  • Gordon Brown – Things aren’t that bad. Well, not quite.

Does Ed Miliband feel lucky? Replace Balls too soon and he is a marauding presence on the backbenches…

Who will be Shadow Chancellor on the date of the next General Election?

Ed Balls 1/5 
Yvette Cooper 11/2 8/1 
Alistair Darling 10/1
Alan Johnson 10/1
Chris Leslie 18/1 
Rachel Reeves 18/1
Liam Byrne 18/1
Ed Miliband 20/1 
Douglas Alexander 20/1 
Jim Murphy 25/1 
Chuka Umunna 33/1 25/1
Andy Burnham 40/1 
Tristram Hunt 25/1 33/1
Jim Murphy 33/1
Gordon Brown 50/1 
David Miliband 80/1


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