Is there any betting value in the Tory race?

Is there any betting value in the Tory race?

David Cameron Best bookie price 8/11: Best betting exchange 1.02/1. Stormed up the betting last week from a 10/1 outsider to an odds-on favourite. In spite of several polls showing big lead amongst Tories he still has to get over the MPs’ ballot – the first round of which closes on Tuesday. Being just 39 and only having completed four full years in the Commons might make it hard to win over enough MPs. It is conceivable that he will not make the final two. Even if he does will those poll ratings be sustained once people find out more about him? We think that he is probably the winner but there is too much risk at current prices.

David Davis. Best bookie price 15/8: Best betting exchange 2.6/1. The front-runner for so long Davis had an awful time in Blackpool when he moved out from o.54/1 to nearly 3/1. His strongest card is that he has more MPs declaring their support than any of the others and it looks reasonably certain that he will make the final. He’s pulled himself round quite well in the past few days and if he sustains his MP lead then being the choice of the parliamentary party will be a strong argument to make with the membership. His problem is that the polls of Tory members have him in third place. There’s not enough value at current prices.

Ken Clarke. Best bookie price 6/1: Best betting exchange 7/1. Had a boost yesterday following Sir Malcom Rifkind’s withdrawal and the polls show that he would probably beat all but David Cameron in the membership ballot. Has bigger hostile ratings within the party than any of the others and his links with tobacco threaten to be an issue at any time. His great strength is that he is seen as a possible election winner. His weakness is that he does not have enough public support from MPs and might be knocked out next week. The chance of him winning is probably about 10% so if prices move out then he might be worth a punt.

Liam Fox. Best bookie price 8/1: Best betting exchange 10/1. The flag carrier for the right has seen his price tighten following his performance at Blackpool. If he gets into the second round of the MPs ballot then he might pick up more support from those trying to stop Cameron or Clarke. Even though the polls of party members have him in bottom place he could be the dark horse. There’s not enough value in the current price tag.

  • What will be critical ahead of next Tuesday’s first round vote will be the weekend polls. If these find that Tory members are still overwhelmingly pro-Cameron then this is likely to influence some MPs. If there’s been a slip back then the story will be that the “Cameron bubble has burst”.
  • Mike Smithson

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