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Miliband now 7.2/1 second favourite to be leader

December 28th, 2005

    Will Labour elect Brown even if the opinion polls are against him?

From the way punters are reacting on the betting exchanges Labour’s big beneficiary from the emergence of David Cameron is that other Oxford-educated 2001 Commons’ entrant, David Miliband – the Minister of State for Communities and Local Government.

The chart showing the implied probability of success based on the best betting exchange price and illustrates the move to Miliiband in the past month. He’s now at 7.2/1 and is well ahead of the third favourite, Alan Milburn, at 17/1.

Gordon Brown, of course, is the very solid favourite to replace Tony Blair and the current best price is 0.45/1. This has tightened a bit in the past few days but is nowhere near the 0.35/1 that was the best you could have got at the end of last month.

Some of the confidence in the Brown camp has eroded because four opinion polls since Cameron’s election have shown Labour doing worse under the Chancellor’s leadership than under Blair. If this polling trend continues then we might see greater interest in possible alternatives to Brown.

This is a hard market because we do not know when there will be a contest. For all the pressures he is under Tony Blair does not look like a man about to leave office.

JUST OVER TWO WEEKS UNTIL THE PB.C PARTY. This will be on Saturday January 14, at the “Star Tavern” Belgrave Mews West, London SW1. Time – from 6 o’clock onwards. Please contact Innocent Abroad if you want to attend.

Mike Smithson






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