A betting slip from a few days ago.
Despite their very best efforts, Labour wasn’t able to weaponise the NHS to their advantage or damage the Tories on the NHS in the election campaign (nor in the run up to the election.)Â The NHS is an issue that has been traditionally perceived to be one of Labour’s strongest areas, Labour’s failure to make the NHS an election issue says a lot about Hunt’s abilities as a Minister and to deal with his opponents & the media, something which is a pre-requisite for any successful party leader.
At the time of writing, the best price you can get on Jeremy Hunt as next Prime Minister is 50/1 with Corals, when Sajid Javid’s best price is 14/1, then in my opinion, there’s something wrong with Hunt’s price, as I think both should be similarly priced and Javid’s price is about right.
Another advantage for Hunt is, that the NHS is one of the very few government departments that has its budget ring-fenced from cuts, and is expected to receive increased funding, so whilst other ministers struggle with departmental spending cuts, Hunt’s department, which is arguably the most high profile public service government department, won’t be dealing with such issues, which should theoretically help him politically.
If Andy Burnham, as expected, does become the next Labour leader, then Hunt can point to his his recordÂ vis-Ã -vis Burnham why the Tories should elect him leader. The fact that Andy Burnham couldn’t use the NHS to Labour’s advantage, especially after the widely criticised Lansley reforms, is a story for another thread. No wonder a few weeks ago, Jeremy Hunt publicly declared that he wanted Andy Burnham to become Labour leader.