Could the members poll that got it right in 2001 be right this time as well?
A YouGov poll of Tory party members in the Telegraph this morning shows that the gap between David Davis and Ken Clarke is much closer than the betting odds suggests and that by one measure the former Chancellor is ahead.
This poll has to be taken seriously because in 2001 a similar survey by YouGov predicted a 61:39 split between Ian Duncan Smith and Ken Clarke – which was almost precisely what happened.
The split from today’s poll is: Clarke 33%: Davis 28%: Cameron 17%: Fox 8%: Rifkind 4%. In a run-off between Clarke and Davis the poll shows: Davis 48%: Clarke 45%
At this stage we do not know how the leadership will be decided and the general view had been that Clarke would struggle if there was no rule change and the final say was left with the party membership. In fact Ken Clarke had said that he would pull out if that is how the election was going to be held. This poll will surely change his mind.
Another part of the survey asked how members viewed the Michael Howard plan that MPs should make the final decision. This, perhaps surprisingly, was backed by 63% to 31%.
Tory leadership betting prices
Conventional bookmakers best price: Davis 8/13: Clarke 5/2: Cameron 11/2 Betfair betting exchange: Davis 0.8/1: Clark 2.7/1: Cameron 7.2/1 BinaryBet spread market. Davis 51-58: Clarke 21-26: Cameron 7-11
BETTING CALL. In our view the correct prices against both Clarke and Davis should now be about evens with, perhaps, the Shadow Home Secretary just a touch ahead. The current Ken Clarke price offers great value and will surely tighten. Get on now.
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