Is Harriet the danger for Tory landslide punters?

Is Harriet the danger for Tory landslide punters?


    Could a “game-changing” Gord replacement upset the media narrative?

There’s been quite a bit of activity on the Tory landslide markets where punters have driven the price down from 4/1 at the end of June to 6/4 with William Hill at the moment. Ladbrokes have also got a market. Yesterday the price on the Tories getting a majority of 100 or more was 3/1 and looked quite an attractive bet. Today that’s down to 9/4.

Given the overwhelming polling evidence and the precedent of John Major’s government being unable to recover from a much better position in 1995-1997 this seemed liked good value. But there’s one factor that is holding me back – the distinct possibility of a new Labour leader with the capacity to change the whole game and turn round the media narrative.

I don’t think David Miliband, who flunked his chance last year, has that capability and it was Jack Straw, remember, who ran Gord’s campaign so successfully that almost the entire parliamentary Labour party was too scared to put up an opponent. There’s a lot that he said from that period that could come back to haunt him.

Alan Johnson really blew it with his failed bit for the deputy leadership. He’s supposed to be a “good communicator” in the same way that Nick Clegg’s supporters were claiming last year. I don’t see it in either of them.

And I know that when I mention the name of Harriet Harman there will be groans from some PBers but so be it. I’m not going to disguise my view just because a number of you don’t agree with me. In my judgement she has much more potential to attract favourable coverage and move the ratings than any of the other names that are mentioned – if only because of the novelty of Labour, after all these decades, choosing a woman.

Nobody ever got rich, remember, betting against Harriet Harman.

Live political betting odds.

Mike Smithson

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