Have Hill’s got this one priced right?
Bookmakers William Hill have opened a market on whether or not Ming will be leading his party at the general election. The opening prices in the market are: Sir Ming to lead Lib Dems into next General Election – 8/11 NO; Evens YES.
I think that Hills have got this wrong. Unless Ming decides voluntarily to step down or he has health problems then I do not think the party has the stomach to oust him. You can forcefully eject one leader during a parliament but to do it to two is simply not on. The evens price looks like a good bet.
As to Ming’s eventual successor Hills have installed two ex-Westminster School boys as the first and second favourites. Nick Clegg is 11/8 favourite with Chris Huhne at 3/1; 8/1 Ed Davey; 9/1 Vince Cable; 12/1 Julia Goldsworthy; 16/1 Nick Harvey; Charles Kennedy; Michael Moore; Sarah Teather; 20/1 Simon Hughes.
Clearly Clegg has got many in the party establishment on his side but Huhne is going to take a lot of beating. Unlike Clegg Huhne had the guts to go for it last time and has a lot of name recognition.
To my mind Clegg always disappoints and in a battle Huhne would do well. The 12/1 on Julia Goldsworthy looks interesting but Hills don’t seem to have a price on Lynne Featherstone – who must be better placed to the first woman leader.
On the party’s prospects at the general election Hills offer 1/ 2 that the Lib Dems will end up with fewer seats than they currently have after the next General Election, and 6/4 that they end up with more.