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Amber Rudd moves to joint 3rd CON leader favourite following speculation that she’s got Ruth Davidson’s backing

August 6th, 2017

The big unknown is whether there’ll be an early contest

There’s been a flurry of speculation over Amber Rudd’s leadership chances following her trip to Scotland and a private meeting with the Scottish Tory leader, Ruth Davidson.

Davidson is seen as a key player in the party election whenever that takes place following the Tory Scottish successes on June 8th. Those gains helped offset some of the losses to LAB in England. This is from James Forsyth in the Sun.

“The 12 MPs that the Tories gained north of the border is what enabled them to cobble together a Commons majority with the DUP’s help. But unlike so many other senior Tories, she (Daivdson) isn’t interested in touting herself as Theresa May’s successor. Her immediate aim is to be First Minister of Scotland, not PM.

Don’t think this means Davidson will have no influence on the coming contest, though. She is, in the words of one of those being urged to run for leader, “the kingmaker par excellence”. Whoever she backs will be halfway to No10..”

Rudd has two big problems. She was a prominent Remainer during the referendum and at the General Election LAB came within 346 votes of taking her Hastings seat. I’m far from convinced that the latter is a negative. Main party leaders generally get a boost on their home turf because of the media prominence they get during the campaign and also some local pride. Her Brexit position, though maybe more damaging.

What is far from certain is whether there will be an early vacancy. TMay looks determined to carry on and does the party have the stomach to provoke what could be a divisive leadership contest at this stage?

In the betting Davis remains favourite as an 18% chance. Boris is at 10% with Hammond, Russ and Rees-Mogg each on 9%.

Mike Smithson