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Punters pile onto David Davis

June 21st, 2005

    Best bookie price now 1/2

The chart shows how the best betting price on David Davis for the Tory leadership is continuing to tighten as punters see no alternative to him getting the top job. The best bookie price is 1/2 although you can still get 0.7/1 with Betfair.

This compares with the 5/2 that was available on May 6th – the day that Michael Howard said that he would be standing down by the end of the year. A £100 winning bet placed on that day would have produced a profit of £250. Today’s price means you would only get £50 – or a fifth of what was available seven weeks ago.

With no other candidate having emerged the betting markets, at least, seem to have made up their minds – it is going to be Davis so why not make some money on what appears to be a certainty? It is hard to go against this logic whatever supporters of David Cameron, Ken Clarke or Sir Malcolm Rifkind might say.

    Could it be that the Shadow Home Secretary’s succession to the top job will fly in the face of the conventional wisdom about Tory leadership contests that the early favourite never ends up as winner?

The uncertainty over the leadership is certainly hitting the party’s position in the polls – the latest from ICM in the Guardian today giving Labour a 7% lead. The online version of the Guardian’s story fails to mention the Liberal Democrat share – fair enough, they want us to buy the paper!

At this stage after an election poll figures are pretty meaningless and the only interest to anoraks like me will be the post-election mathematics that ICM is now employing to deal with the increasing problems that phone polling has in finding representative samples.

Mike Smithson






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