But is it because he is the only Tory that still has “name recognition” ?
A Populus Poll in the Times this morning has Ken Clarke well ahead of David Davis in the Tory leadership stakes both amongst the electorate at large and. perhaps more importantly, amongst party supporters.
He beats the Shadow Home Secretary by 40% to 26% amongst the general public and by 48% to 40% amongst Conservative voters. But compared with the current second favourite, David Cameron, Davis ahead by 34% to 16% with the public and 50% to 16% with Tories
These findings probably say more about how little known leading Tories are amongst the public than being a good pointer to the race.
Ken Clarke has been about for so much longer and has so much more name recognition than any of the other contenders, including David Davis. Even Politicalbetting users, we suspect, would find it hard to put names to the pictures of the majority of members of the Tory front bench in this BBC round up.
In the betting David Davis has tightened to evens while Clarke and Cameron are fighting it out for second place but still some way behind. Malcolm Rifkind has moved up to 9/1 following his “entry” into the contest yesterday.
Given that Michael Howard’s currrent time-table means that this will not be resolved until November/December the words “Tory Leadership Contest” could become a big switch off amongst the general public.