A big 36 hours ahead in the race to Number 10

A big 36 hours ahead in the race to Number 10

Theresa May strong odds on favourite the day before the first vote

Tomorrow MPs will vote by secret ballot in the first round of the 2016 Conservative Leadership Race. The choice will be more than just the party leadership because the winner becomes the next PM.

Five names are on the tomorrow’s ballot and MPs have to choose just one. The contender who receives the fewest votes drops out and we’ll move to a second round of voting on Thursday.

Other MP rounds are planned until there are two names left which will go to the party membership in a postal ballot.

During today expect to see a lot of action with more and more making MP endorsements a situation that had been made more critical following the shock withdrawal on Thursday of Boris Johnson who at that time had chalked up most number.

Later this evening I’m expecting the latest YouGov members’ poll which is the first to have been carried out since Johnson quit and Gove said he was running.

Andrea Leadsom is having a public campaign launch as is Gove.

    One thing to take into account is that MPs can lie when they make statements of public support particularly in favour of the front runner. In 2005 David Davis had many more MP endorsements than the 62 who actually voted for him in the first round.

MPs wanting preferment like to keep on side of the person perceived to be the likely winner.

At the moment Theresa May seems to be running away with this with Andrea Leadsom in second place but a long way behind. The latter looks as though she is the main flag carrier for the Brexiters and the question is how much of the Boris support will come to her. She’s also facing serious scrutiny at the moment and that could have an impact.

Currently I make money if it’s Leadsom, May or Crabb. I’m even on Gove and a loser if it is Fox.

Mike Smithson

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