He’s at his best when his back is against the wall
As a reaction to Cameron’s dramatic admission on his family offshore investments last night in the interview with Robert Peston several bookies starting offering odds on him failing to survive the year as prime minister. Both Ladbrokes and William Hill are making this a 3/1 chance.
Given the nature of the way the information eventually came out bit by bit there is no doubt that the prime minister has been damaged by this week’s events. Add on to that his possible precarious position in the post referendum Conservative Party then on the face of it this seems like a pretty good price.
I’m not tempted however because of my current betting positions which will broadly cover that eventuality. A month ago I got 10/1 on George Osborne not being Chancellor during 2016 and surely that bet would be a winner if Cameron stepped aside.
- The biggest reason for my reluctance is the nature of David Cameron himself. He has shown during the past decade that he is at his best when he is facing a crisis particularly one that could impact on his own future.
Remember his resilience and stalwart performance in the dark days of the first 3 months of Gordon Brown’s Premiership in 2007. By late September he appeared totally doomed as Brown prepared for the election that never was. Cameron’s Ipsos-MORI satisfaction ratings dropped to below the worst level that Corbyn has seen and the Tories moved at one point to being more than 10% down in the polls. His leadership was at stake as he prepared for his party conference.
Yet his and Osborne’s resolute performances over those few days saw the polls turn against Brown who had to take what proved to be the highly damaging step of dropping his early election plan.
Remember as well how Cameron dealt with the disappointment of failing to get a majority in May 2010. His dramatic offer of a coalition with the Lib Dems led to him getting to Downing Street and ultimately to Clegg’s party being almost wiped out.
Cameron is a great survivor. He is also lucky.