I'm not a gambling man myself, but earlier today (June 8 2009), out of a sense of curiosity, I asked a number of bookmakers for odds on Peter Mandelson taking over the role.
The quote from PaddyPower, 20/1 against, looks surprisingly short to me, and I can't begin to think what kind of mischief a determined troublemaker might make with it.
'Leading bookmaker opens book on Peter Mandelson succeeding Gordon Brown as UK Prime Minister' would make an interesting headline in any newspaper at the minute. Quickly followed by: 'The odds are shortening on Peter Mandelson moving into 10 Downing Street as the new Prime Minister'. Followed by: "The UK's leading bookmakers have stopped taking bets on whether Peter Mandelson will be the next Prime Minister; it is now being viewed almost as a certainty...'
I just thought I would pass this on; so that if such stories start popping all over the place in the next few days, I will at least be able to claim that I was one of those to latch on to the possibility.
Incidentally, they are also quoting odds of 3/1 for the 2012 Olympics not to start on 27th July 2012. That seems VERY short to me. Do the good people at PaddyPower know something we don't???