Would the Tories do better without Dave?

Would the Tories do better without Dave?

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    Could there be value in this new market?

Reproduced above are the opening prices in a market from Paddy Power on who will lead the Tories at the general election.

If this opportunity had been there before Brown’s arrival at Number 10 punters would have snapped up the 1/3 offered on Cameron’s survival. Now, after a string of seriously poor polls, it looks at bit different.

The real issue at the moment is the massive turbulence in the polls. At the end of August after Cameron’s high-profile first period back after his holidays, he was getting lots of media coverage and this was reflected in the polling numbers. YouGov’s Labour lead moved from 8% to 3% in just three days and ComRes reported that the parties were level-pegging.

Then Brown returned from his holidays and seized the news agenda. This was followed by Northern Rock, for which the government has largely escaped blame, and now we are into the conference season.

So it will be a fairly battered Tory party that travels to Blackpool the weekend after next. The question at the back of many people’s minds will be whether changing the leader yet again would be the wise thing to do.

This is a hard call – would the Tory position have been the same if it had been Davis, Fox or my favourite, Chris Grayling, at the helm? Who knows?

Sean Fear’s Friday slot. Sean is moving house so there will be no columnn.

Mike Smithson

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