Keep your eye on the David Davis price
In the last Tory MP leadership ballot, the confidence vote on IDS in October 2003, the best guide to what was going on during the afternoon was on the betting screens.
As I recall the poll closed at 6.30pm but an hour before there were exceptional changes on the betting exchange market on who would be Tory leader at the General Election. Michael Howard and David Davis had been running pretty close with IDS very much out of it. Then, at about 5.30 pm the Davis price moved out very sharply from about 2/1 to nearer 10/1. At the same time the Howard price tightened.
This was clearly based on solid information and, of course, all was revealed later in the evening when Davis announced that he was not planning to run provided everybody else stood aside to give Michael Howard a clear run.
This afternoon the critical number is going to be the number of votes that Davis attracts. Will it be at the 66 level of his declared public supporters? Will it be higher? or will it be lower?
If there is going to be much deviation from the 66 figures then that might start to affect the betting. Of course the last thing those on the declared list want to happen is for Team Davis to know that they have reneged on their pledge. But they will be talking amongst themselves and a picture might start to emerge.
In my judgement Davis will make the final two if he holds his numbers. Much of a dilution and we’ll see a swing to other candidates.
In betting this morning there have not been many variations. Click for latest prices.