For Andrea Leadsom the scrutiny has only just started

For Andrea Leadsom the scrutiny has only just started


She’s got to be more convincing

There’s such a contrast between the two women who’ll fight it out over the next eight weeks to become prime minister. May is well-known, very experienced and has started her campaign with a confidence that suggests that she’s been planning this career move for years.

During the Cameron years she always maintained a detachment and was often accused of bring on maneuvers. Yet she’s never gone so far that she’s been open to the charge of disloyalty. Her positioning during the referendum looks in retrospect to have been very smart.

Leadsom on the other hand appears to have stumbled into the position of main challenger almost by accident. She got a big role in the referendum and then had the good fortune to benefit from Michael Gove’s destruction of Boris just eight days ago.

The result is that we do not know a lot about her and the media digging into her past has only just started. Her responses, I’d suggest, have been less than self assured. The “bigging up” her CV stories are only just the start and she’s been less than convincing. Either she was in a particular position that she claimed to have and performed a stated role or she didn’t.

In many organisations being found to have lied on your CV is a sacking offence and what we’ve seen so far suggests carelessness.

At some stage in the next few weeks she’ll face a grilling by Paxman or Neill which she could find very uncomfortable. Top interviewers can’t be flammed off.

Her policy positions on a range of issues are going be examined as is the depth of her Euroscepticness.

But she is engaging and can come over well.

The current betting makes her a 28% chance which is about right.

Mike Smithson

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