Hughes rules himself out of the race
Now that Campbell has joined IDS in the select band of party leaders never to fight an election, the race for his successor has well and truly begun. Voting will close on 15th December with the new leader being unveiled two days later, and Simon Hughes has been the first big name to announce that he won’t be standing.
The Betfair market is now open (although bizarrely the opening show featured Danny Alexander but not Kennedy!) and Ed Davey and Steve Webb have just been added to the list. Nick Clegg has got off to an early start as a red-hot favourite at 1.55 with Chris Huhne currently at 5 (4/1 in old money).
Who might be able to challenge the “big two”? What about the aforementioned Webb and Davey, and is Kennedy a realistic, rather than nostalgic, prospect? Might they pick a woman leader? Lynne Featherstone is often mentioned in this regard, but I have had a few pounds on Julia Goldsworthy at 50 on Betfair, on the basis that if she runs, even if only to put down a marker for the future, the price will contract significantly.
Paul Maggs “Double Carpet”
Mike Smithson returns full time on 18th October
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