What do we make of the “Cabinet Sack Race 2006”
Politics can be a cruel business and betting on political outcomes can make it seem crueler. In its latest market line Paddy Power is taking bets on which senior Labour minister will be first out in the New Year.
And according to the bookmaker the joint favorites are two of the most senior women in Tony Blair’s Government, Margaret Beckett the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary and Ruth Kelly – Education and Skills Secretary.
With a new market like this the prices are not determined by what punters are doing but rather are an assessment by the bookmaker of what it thinks will happen. It is often at this stage that you can find betting bargains – that is when the chances of something happening are better than the odds being offered.
This is the line-up for “Who will be first Minister To Resign/Be Sacked in 2006?
9/2 Margaret Beckett: Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
9/2 Ruth Kelly: Education and Skills secretary
6/1 Charles Clarke: Home Secretary
13/2 Alistair Darling:Transport Secretary and Secretary of Scotland
8/1 Ian McCartney: Minister without Portfolio
8/1 Jack Straw: Foreign Secretary
12/1 Hilary Armstrong: Chief Whip
14/1 Tessa Jowell: Culture, Media and Sport secretary
14/1 Tony Blair: Prime Minister
16/1 Geoff Hoon: Leader of the House of Commons
18/1 Hilary Benn: International Development sec
18/1 Des Browne: Chief Secretary to the Treasury
18/1 Patricia Hewitt: Health secretary
20/1 David Miliband: Local Government minister
20/1 Lord Falconer: Lord Chancellor
22/1 Baroness Amos: Leader of the House of Lords
25/1 Peter Hain: Northern Ireland and Wales
25/1 John Hutton: Work and Pensions secretary
33/1 Gordon Brown: Chancellor of the Exchequer
33/1 Alan Johnson: Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
40/1 John Prescott: Deputy Prime Minister
50/1 John Reid: Defence secretary
This is a hard market to read and I cannot see any value in the list.