A contact just back from Brussels tells me that the putative Blair candidacy, which I wrote about this week
, is in trouble. Apparently the supporters of Jean Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg PM, are frank that the purpose of his candidacy is to polarise the field with him—Federalist, anti-Iraq—on one side and Blair on the other. In typical EU fashion, the compromise candidate will then be looked for.
Blair’s problem is that he is the high-profile front-runner. He is the man everyone is either for or against and in a selection that is decided by consensus that person rarely gets the job. In the meantime, the Dutch PM Jean Peter Balkenende, who I am told Merkel favours, is neatly tucked up on the rails ready to break through when there is a gap in the field.