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The LD battle is a lot tighter than the current betting suggests

July 2nd, 2019

Ed Davey has a better than a 17% chance

If you want to base a predictions on the Betfair market then Jo Swinson, the 39 year old ex Lib Dem minister in the Coalition, is heading for a clear victory in the Lib Dem leadership contest. Her opponent, former cabinet minister Ed Davey, is currently at just a 17% chance on the betting exchange with Swinson on an 83% one.

As might be expected I know a lot of Lib Dems who will be participating in the election and I find far less commitment to either candidate than you would imagine. There is a growing view that Ed has had the best campaign so far but we don’t know how that will translate into votes.

Whoever wins they will be accepted by the party and there isn’t the factional fighting that we’re seeing in the Tory leadership battle.

Following the successes in the May locals and the strong second place in the Euro elections the party is in good spirit at the moment and has seen quite a growth in new members. With the position in the polls now hovering around the 20% the new leader will inherit a much better situation than Vince Cable did 2 years ago.

But who is it going to be? From my soundings with LD members I find many seem to be conflicted and find it difficult to make a choice. I noticed that this view is supported by those Lib Dem members who have been posting on PB of late.

Online voting started yesterday with a mailing going to those who will be voting by post in the next few days.

My only bet has been on Ed at 5.8 on Betfair because my sense is that his position is somewhat stronger than the current odds equating to at 17% chance suggest. As ever this is not a prediction but an assessment of betting value.

Mike Smithson