"We've got a new nickname for him: the monk, because he wants two years of quiet contemplation to work out what he's going to do."
"I give him 18 months. Tops."
There is, to be fair, a frosty kind of hope for Miliband amid these numbers. The Lib Dems and Tories are hardly roaring ahead, and there is still an unusually large number of 'Don't knows' by the Labour leader's name. Which is why so much import can, and will, be read into the Oldham by-election result. A Labour victory, and the Miliband leadership will have a first real success to its name. A Labour defeat, and I wonder whether backbenchers will start muttering about excommunicating the monk.