Punters pile on Davis after Populus poll shock

Punters pile on Davis after Populus poll shock

    The Times’ pollster puts Davis ahead amongst Tory voters

The Times today publishes more findings from its November Populus Poll showing that of those in the survey who said they were Tories – 50% wanted Davis as leader against 37% supporting Cameron.

This is a huge turnround and sparked off a great amount of activity on the betting markets. Last night the Betfair exchange had Cameron at 0.11/1 with Davis at more than 7/1. This morning Davis is down to 2.25/1 while Cameron has eased out to 0.32/1. The chart above shows the implied probability of success based on best available betting prices.

It should be stressed that the poll is of those saying they would support the Tories in a General Election and is not restricted to Tory members – the people who will determine which of the two Davids shall lead them. Other findings are not as good for the 56 year-old Shadow Home Secretary and seem inconsistent.

  • Tory voters say by 45-11% that Cameron is more likely than Davis to lead them to a General Election victory
  • Among the public generally, Cameron is favoured by 37-30%
  • In a Brown-Cameron contest it would split 37% to Labour and 35% Tory. With Davis as leader Labour would be on 43% against 32% for the Tories. Yesterday’s figures on General Election intention asked at the same time put Labour 8% ahead.
    • There’s little doubt that this poll is a severe blow to Cameron and could give some traction to the Davis campaign.

    At the risk of being accused again of being unfair to Populus it should be stated that it has a reputation for volatility. In its penultimate tracker survey before the May 5th General Election it was showing a 14% Labour lead.

    The head of the firm, Andrew Cooper, often joins our discussions. It would be great if he could give his view on this survey.

    Betting update 0730. On Betfair the Cameron price continues to ease and it is now at o.5/1. Davis is at 1.7/1. All this must make one punter feel pretty sick. Yesterday he put £30,000 on Cameron with William Hill at 1/10. This morning he could get the same winnings at the latest Betfair price with a stake of just £6,000.

    Mike Smithson

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