In recent weeks, the Tories have tried to make the idea of Balls being Chancellor after the election into an election issue. Their thinking is that the public would find this idea as unappealing as Balls’ Cabinet colleagues did.
But in his Guardian interview today, Brown says that he “of course” wants to keep Darling as Chancellor should he win re-election. As well as trying to prevent a splits story in the run up to polling day, I suspect that Brown’s pronouncement is also influenced by the prospect of a hung parliament. If Labour were trying to govern without a majority in the Commons by relying on the Lib Dems to vote through their Queen Speech, Budget and the like, it would be a lot easier to obtain this support if Darling was Chancellor not Balls.