Will David Davis share the same fate as other Tory front runners?
Following Michael Howard announcement that he will stand down as Tory leader “sooner rather than later” the race is now on for a successor. And a wide range of bookmakers are operating online markets on the race.
It is no surprise that the Shadow Home Secretary, David Davis, has been made the pre-race heavy favourite – but the nature of this contest is that the front runner almost always fails to make it. So could the current 15/8 price tag be the kiss of death for Davis who has succesfully fought off a challenge from the Lib Dems who had had his Yorkshire seat on their “decpitation list.
We go with form and previous history here and suggest that a bet against him – by laying on the betting exchange, Betfair – might be profitable.
If it’s not Davis then Sir Malcolm Rifkind – 10/1 – who is returning to the Commons after an eight year absence might be the runner to go for.
We like George Osborne or David Cameron – both 12/1– but they are, surely, too young and the party’s last experience of going with someone in their 30s, William Hague – 20/1 – was surely a mistake.
Michael Howard’s failure to make it to Number 10 reinforces what has become almost a rule of British poliitics that the Prime Minister should have gone to Oxford. In only two of the past seventeen UK General Elections has the winning party been led by someone who did not go to the University and the exception, Churchill in 1951 and Major in 1992, did not go to university at all. Howard was a Cambridge man.