Who will “win” this final contest?
With leadership issues dominating both main parties in this post-election period Hills have opened a new market on which of Michael Howard or Tony Blair will stand down first.
The current prices are 1/7 on Howard going before Blair and 4/1 against Blair going before Howard. With the pressure continuing to build on Mister Blair, as everybody now seems to be calling him, the 4/1 looks good value.
In the Labour leadership stakes, meanwhile, the best you can get on Gordon Brown is now 1/5. With the Tories David Davis is 15/8 favourite although a lot of money is reported to be going on William Hague – now at 16/1.
An intriguing new spread market has just been opened by Sporting Index’s HiLo off-shoot on how old Michael Howard’s replacement as Tory leader will be.
The current spread is 50.5-52 years old. So if you think that they will go for George Osborne (33), David Cameron (38), Liam Fox (43) or even a return for William Hague (44) then a sell would produce a nice profit. If, on the other hand, you see this going to David Davis (56), Sir Malcolm Rifkind (58) or even the Ken Clark (64) then there could be big profits in a buy bet.
A lot depends in this race on what the new rules are because if the Tory membership has the final say then Davis looks a sure winner.