Is David Davis a bigger certainty than Gordon Brown?

Is David Davis a bigger certainty than Gordon Brown?


    Do the front-runners justify their prices?

If the betting is getting this right then the next General Election will see the Tory Party under David Davis seeking to stop Labour, under Gordon Brown, from securing a record fourth victory.

In the Next Tory leader the best you can get on David is now 6/5 with no clear candidate emerging to make an effective challenge. David Cameron is on 6/1 and then Clarke, Lansley, Fox and Hague are on 10/1.

In the Next Labour leader Gordon Brown is the heavy odds-on favourite at 1/5 followed by Charles Clarke on 11/2 with Alan Milburn on 12/1 and David Blunkett and Jack Straw each on 16/1. If you are going for anybody other than Brown then there are substantially better prices available on the Betfair betting exchange. You can get Clarke at 26/1, Milburn at 42/1 and Jack Straw at 75/1.

So a £100 successful bet on Gordon Brown would produce winnings of just £20 while one on David Davis would net £120.

    We think that David Davis is a much better bet than Gordon Brown – particularly as we know that this should be resolved by the end of 2005 while the Labour leadership election might not take place until 2008 or 2009. A lot can happen in the intervening period.

There’s also the issue that with Gordon Brown you could be locking up your stake for years and if your profit is only a fifth of what you are risking then you might be better leaving it in the building society.

The normal rule on Conservative leadership contests is that the early favourite never makes it. We do not think that this will happen this time. The 6/5 on David Davis looks good value.

Anybody thinking that another contender might do it should read through the discussion on our article on Ken Clarke’s potential earlier in the week. This left with me, for one, with no doubt that the former Tory Chancellor has no prospect at all and I’ve now laid the big bet I had on him with BinaryBetat a very substantial profit.

Mike Smithson

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