William Hill have cut the odds of Jacqui Smith replacing Gordon Brown from 33/1 to 20/1.
From William Hill:
YOU BET SMITH COULD SUCCEED BROWN
Jacqui Smith has emerged as a potential contender to succeed Gordon Brown as Labour Leader and William Hill have cut her odds from 33/1 to 20/1 after she apparently impressed Labour MPs with her arguments over the 42 day issue. 'Ms Smith has apparently enhanced her reputation in recent days and we have cut her odds accordingly, but she still has some way to go to become the first female Labour leader' says Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe.
Hills make David Miliband 5/2 favourite and also offer 7/1 Johnson; Straw; 8/1 Balls; 9/1 Denham; Purnell; 14/1 Burnham; Cruddas; 16/1 Benn.
Today Nick Robinson reported on his Blog that Smith's star could be rising in the Labour leadership race:
Shares in Smith soared last night. As Labour MP's and peers poured out of the Parliamentary Labour Party meeting all were agreed that Jacqui the home secretary had put in the performance of her life. Some went further and claimed that this was the best ministerial performance in the past year or two.Oh my God! Can you imagine it? Jacqui Smith as PM - It would go down a storm with the police.
Even those Labour MPs, who still refuse to vote for 42 days - and there are still quite a few - know that the home secretary was not the one to come up with the idea. Instead she was handed this poisoned chalice by Gordon Brown.
Last night in the lobby, some even dared think whether our Jacqui might be the next leader that Labour is looking for.