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The favourites to succeed Ming?

March 29th, 2006

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    Betting opens on the NEXT Lib Dem leader…really!

Less than four weeks after Sir Menzies Campbell was elected leader of the Liberal Democrats betting has opened on who will replace him.

The four in the picture – Chris Huhne (5/1), Nick Clegg (4/6) , David Laws (4/1) and Ed Davey (5/1) are heading the early prices. Next in line are Mike Moore and Sarah Teather on 14/1. Julia Goldsworthy is 20/1, Mark Oaten 25/1, while Simon Hughes and Vince Cable are at 33/1. The not-publicity shy Lembit Opik is priced at 50/1.

    For a real long-shot Charles Kennedy is priced at 100/1 – which looks like a great value bet. If he could show that he has really conquered his problems he would have a good chance with the membership ballot if he stood.

Like Tony Blair and David Cameron the top four in the betting have a lot in common:-

  • They are all male
  • They are all white
  • They all went to public school
  • They all went to either Oxford or Cambridge
  • An interesting aspect of the next race will be whether Clegg, Laws and Davey will benefit from having stood aside for Ming. Huhne did not and certainly increased his profile within the party.

    Barring ill-health or accidents it is hard to see another Lib Dem contest taking place this side of the General Election and I cannot see why anybody would want to bet apart from, maybe, having a small flutter on Kennedy. The 4/6 on Nick Clegg is just ridiculous given the uncertainties over the time-scale and I have yet to be convinced by him.

    It is worth recalling that betting on the last Lib Dem leader did not start until December 2005.

    Mike Smithson






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