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The David Davis lead gets bigger

September 18th, 2005

Tory Leadership – RED Davis: BLUE Cameron: BLACK Clarke: GREEN Fox

    ..and a “no-brainer Tory leadership bet

Our updated chart showing the implied probabilities of the front-runners in the Tory leadership contest based on the best betting prices available will provide considerable cheer to David Davis supporters – particularly his web cheer leader, the so-called Wat Tyler, who asked specifically for it to be published.

The Ken Clarke progress has faltered in the past few days following Davis’s big speech and the public backing for Davis by David Willetts who has withdrawn from the race.

    With the system of voting due to be decided the week after next and the contest being the main focus at the party conference a few days leader the big challenge for Davis is to persuade his party that he is a potential Labour-beater.

Even though he appears to be getting the support of Tory MPs the opinion polls continue to show that he is miles behind the Tory veteran, Ken Clarke. Davis, who is not a natural orator, has to show in Blackpool that he has what it takes to lead the party in a General Election. For although his policy platform might be more appealing to the party the prospect of a fourth successive General Election defeat will focus minds.

The Davis camp dismiss the polls saying that all they show is that Clarke is much better known and, clearly, there is something in that. But what has been marked is how Davis has fallen behind amongst Tory members, the ones who might still end up deciding this, since the contest was announced after the General Election.

Davis also has the challenge of dealing with media commentators like Simon Jenkins in the Sunday Times today. He sums up the contest succinctly. Under the heading “Ken Clarke helped ruin the Tory party, he’s the man to rebuild it” he argues “..The new political season opens with a simple assertion. If the Tory party wants to win the next election it should choose Kenneth Clarke as leader. Clarke leads his nearest rival, David Davis, in all available polls by four to one. No further brain is needed. Period.”

Our no-brainer Tory leadership bet. Sporting Index’s BetHilo arm has a spread market on the age of the next Tory leader. The current spread is 51-53 years so you win if Davis, born 23/12/1948, does it and even more if it’s Clarke whose birthday is 2/7/1940. The only problem is that BetHilo will not let you put much on. I cannot see this spread staying at this level for long. To find the market go into Bethilo’s site and it is listed under “Specials”.

Other prices.

  • Conventional bookmakers best price: Davis 8/13: Clarke 2/1: Cameron 8/1
  • Betfair betting exchange: Davis 0.64/1: Clark 3.2/1: Cameron 14/1
  • BinaryBet spread market. Davis 54-61: Clarke 23-29: Cameron 6-10
  • Mike Smithson






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