Peter Hoskin

The quiet rise of Alistair Darling

The quiet rise of Alistair Darling
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A noteworthy set of observations from Iain Martin over at the Wall Street Journal:

"The Labour family is starting to realise that if it is out of power it would need a caretaker leader in place quickly so that it can regroup, rethink and then work out which of the competing contenders has the best chance of beginning the work of reconstruction.

In this context, I hear the name of Alistair Darling being mentioned increasingly as the interim option. It makes a lot of sense. The Chancellor has had a good crisis and he could steady the ship. He also has a great sense of humour - which will be crucial in the circumstances.

Johnson is said not to really want it and Jack Straw is done for. Harriet Harman? She will say as deputy leader - that it is her constitional right. But it is extremely hard to see her colleagues rallying around her, and she has a vested interest in that she would be a contender in any forthcoming leadership race. The Dark Lord (Mandelson) would stop at nothing to halt her progress. He is also very close to the Chancellor.

Darling would also be confident in the Commons and well-placed to benefit if a new government got rapidly into serious economic difficulties. Who knows, if there were a second election this autumn it is not inconceivable that he might perform rather well in it."

Alex of this parish adds his thoughts here. He was pushing the Darling for Caretaker idea a while back.