According to most observers, Yvette Copper is favourite to come top – a forecast supported by a readers' poll published on Left Foot Forward today. In the same poll, Ed Balls finished second. It rather encapsulates the toughest choice facing Ed Miliband: who to pick as shadow chancellor? Cooper offers the same economic prospectus as her husband, but puts a sweeter coating on it. Whereas an alternative candidate (but who?) might wrestle Labour free from yet another family psychodrama.
In any case – and as we said in a recent leader article – Balls is sure to remain a prominent and divisive figure on the political landscape. Although the Tories are denying that there was any real significance behind it, it was still striking that he was the only Labour MP mentioned in David Cameron's speech yesterday. The former schools secretary may not have the right skills for government – but he's got them in abundance for the trench warfare of opposition.
UPDATE: Here's Ladbrokes' top five for the shadow chancellorship. As I've suggested before, I think Liam Byrne is the best option for Labour (that letter notwithstanding) - but he's said to have ruled himself out.
Ed Balls --- evens