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The man who sparked off the rush to Cameron

October 8th, 2005
    Did Newsnight’s survey finish off the other contenders?

We agree with Andrew Grice in the Independent this morning, that the most important Tory leadership factor this week was not anything that happened in the conference hall, but a feature on Newsnight showing the leading US pollster, Frank Luntz, conducting a focus group.

If you have not seen this yet then this is must and you can still download a video from the the programme’s website. It’s the most compelling and influential piece of political television in a long time and had a huge impact on the leadership betting markets.

Those being surveyed watched videos of the five contenders with meters in their hand where they could react instantly to what they were seeing on the screen.

    What was being presented suggests that Cameron appears to resonate with people of all ages and political persuasions in a way that no other UK politician has done since the emergence of Tony Blair.

If the young ex-Etonian does make it to the final membership ballot then there can be little doubt that he will win easily.

His challenge, and the reason why his betting price is only about evens, is that he still has to convince enough of his fellow MPs to give him their votes so he makes the final. It is here that being young and so relatively inexperienced could be crucial.

This weekend Tory MPs will be back in their constituencies and the messages that they get from party members and activists might be a deciding factor and, no doubt they will be influenced by how the papers are reporting the race.

A good example of today’s “over-the-top” coverage is by the Telegraph columnist, Vicki Woods, who started backing David Cameron after reading Politicalbetting. Her feature today is under the heading – Politics is like sex – so pick David Cameron.

My betting. I’m still nervous about going wholeheartedly for Cameron and my biggest punts have been laying (betting against) David Davis. Those MPs who have signed up in public for the Shadow Home Secretary are going to find it hard making a switch. This could still keep Cameron off the final ballot.

Tory Leadership Spread Prices
Spreadfair based on 25 pts for winner and 10 for runner-up.Cameron 15.4-15.7: Davis 11.3-12.3: Clarke 4.8-5.8: Fox 2.1-2.5: Field 0.5-1.8

BinaryBet spread market based on 100 pts for winner. Cameron 42-50:Davis 27-35: Clarke 12-18: Fox 4-8 Rifkind 0-2

Mike Smithson






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