Can Blair beat Chirac and get the games for London?

Can Blair beat Chirac and get the games for London?


    Will Singapore see another UK-France stand-off?

Expect a huge amount of betting over the next 72 hours as Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac fly to Singapore where on Wednesday the 115 members of the IOC will decide on which city will get the 2012 Olympic Games.

Although strictly this is not politics the choice will have a huge political impact in the cities and countries of the five contenders – Paris, London, Madrid, New York and Moscow – and it is no surprise that Chircac and Blair will be there in the final hours as the IOC members make up their minds. As well as the Prime Minister the London line-up includes the Princess Royal, Sebastian Coe, and David Beckham.

    After a period when there was little support in the UK for London’s application there’s little doubt that the mood has turned and Tony Blair would get a big boost if the decision goes his way.

He’s also one of the best know politicians in the world and his endorsement adds enormously to London’s chances.

For a long time now Paris has been the odds-on favourite in the betting and the current best price is 2/9. London is second favourite on 15/4 while a lot of money has been going on Madrid in recent days pushing the price to 25/1. New York is at 33/1 and Moscow at 66/1.

This is a hard election to call and it will be interesting to see how prices fluctuate once everybody arrives in Singapore.

Mike Smithson

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