In the aftermath of gut-churning results for Labour and the Liberal Democrats in the 2015 General Election, both Ed Miliband and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have fallen on their swords by calling time as leaders of their disconsolate parties.
Although a proper leadership contest for either party will be put on hold until proper political autopsies have been undertaken, speculation over the identity of potential replacements has begun in earnest.
Early indications from the traders at bwin.com show a distinct favourite emerging for the Liberals, while the waters surrounding Labour are murkier, but very intriguing nonetheless.
Having gone mightily close to earning dodo political status with only eight elected MP’s, a reduction of 49 seats from just five years ago, the amount of eligible candidates to take up Clegg’s post is considerably squeezed.
The standout frontrunner is Tim Farron, a former president of the yellows between 2011-14 and one of the only Liberal Democrats left standing on a night of decimation for his party.
Elected for a third term as MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale in Cumbria, Farron is the 1/4 market leader to succeed Clegg, who made an emotional address to the media before bowing out of office.
With a smattering more MPs at 232, Labour have a few more knocking about in the House of Commons at least, though a net loss of 28 overall and near extinction in Scotland leave the party in a similar state of disarray.
The early betting thrusts two well-known Labour figures out in front of the bunch, and they are Yvette Cooper and Chuka Umunna, both afforded odds of 5/2.
After the pair, Dan Jarvis and Tristram Hunt, at 4s and 6s respectively are the nearest challengers, before a leap back to Ed’s brother David Miliband at 15/1, though a return to the party feels a little farfetched for the previously defeated leadership candidate.
As Shadow Foreign secretary and the wife of deposed Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, Cooper has long been a major player in the Labour Party and a move to female leadership could be welcome.
Meanwhile, former solicitor Umunna is a real rising star of the party. A promotion to the Shadow Cabinet in 2011 just a year after becoming elected as MP for Streatham was proof of this.
A regular face on programmes such as Question Time and Newsnight, the 36-year-old may just be Labour’s trump card to pick them up from the doldrums of this election nightmare.