What about him getting his old job back?
One of the top ten political betting tips listed in my 2007 book, The Political Punter, was that if ever there was a chance to have a wager on something involving David Blunkett – then get your money on. For there was a period when the ups and downs of the visually handicapped Sheffield MP provided a steady income for those who liked gambling on politics.
Who can forget the huge media frenzy in December 2004 over whether Blunkett would survive as home secretary after getting into a “spot of bother” over a paternity case? For weeks, it seemed, the affair dominated the tabloids and TV bulletins and you could get 7/2 on Blunkett going by the end of the year. He did step down and punters cashed in.
Then on Christmas eve 2004 another bookie opened a market on whether Blunkett would return to the cabinet during 2005. The odds were a massive 5/1 – something we dubbed as a “Christmas Present to Punters”“. Less than five months later, after Tony Blair’s third general election victory, Blunkett was back in the cabinet and those who had got on had another pay-day.
Sadly for the ex-Home Secretary things didn’t work out too well and on November 1st 2005 we announced “Christmas must be coming – thereâ€™s a Blunkett resignation market”. Alas Hills weren’t as generous as they’d been the previous year but you could still get 7/4 on him not making it to the end of the year. He didn’t and the betting profits mounted.
Now there’s another Blunkett market – 100/1 on him being home secretary at the end of 2009 – and for old times sake I could not resist having another flutter if only for a tenner. Could it possibly be fourth time lucky? The odds from Ladbrokes are chunky and certainly reflect that this bet is nothing like as good as the ones three years ago.
But with Jacqui Smith possibly having to pick up the pieces when, as is being suggested, no charges, are brought against Damian Green, then there could be a vacancy at the home office. There have been a series of reports about a possible return for Blunkett as Gord tries to boost his line-up of heavy hitters ahead of the general election and what better choice is there for home secretary?
Mandelson was brought back so why not Blunkett? In any case I’ve also got a bet at 6/4 that Smith won’t be in the post all the way up to the general election.
Betting Update: Ladbrokes have slashed the 100/1 Blunkett price to 50/1.