The TMay successor betting moves to BJohnson after suggestions that DDavis no longer interested

The TMay successor betting moves to BJohnson after suggestions that DDavis no longer interested

And ARudd “hires Crosby” to help her defend Hastings

Boris Johnson, who just over a month ago had been down at 6% in the next CON leader betting has now moved back sharply and is 17% clear favourite following reports that David Davis will no longer want it.

Second in line is Jacob Rees-Mogg who’s fringe meeting in Manchester yesterday attracted huge amount of publicity particularly the way that he handled a heckler. He is at 12%.

Perhaps the most interesting move has been a report in the Times that Amber Rudd has hired Lynton Crosby’s firm in an effort to retain her seat at Hastings which she held with the majority of just a 346 on June 8th. The paper says that the Home Secretary is now being talked up as the candidate of the liberal conservative wing and has the backing of David Cameron, John Major, and George Osborne. From the Times report:

“She has engaged Sir Lynton’s firm, CTF Partners, to shore up her defence of the seat, The Times has learnt. The Australian polling strategist ran Boris Johnson’s two mayoral elections and was heavily involved in his abortive Tory leadership attempt 15 months ago.

Ms Rudd, 54, a former financial journalist, became an MP in 2010 and was a prominent figure in the Remain campaign before the EU referendum. Her elder brother, Roland Rudd, founded and chairs the PR company Finsbury. Mr Rudd was linked to New Labour in its heyday and is a chairman of Open Britain, the pro-EU pressure group.

It emerged last week that on the day after this summer’s election, as the Tory party reeled over the dismal result, a circle of leading liberal Conservatives began working together and alighted upon Ms Rudd as the best-placed candidate from their ideological wing to succeed Mrs May if she quit.

It will be recalled that a week before GE17 Mrs. Rudd stood in for TMay at the ITV leaders’ debate. The PM’s absence from that became a big issue in the closing days.

A big negative about Rudd has always been a fact she has such a slender majority in her own seat, 346, and the fear that this could make a general election campaign for her particularly difficult if she was leader.

Of course in all of this there is no vacancy. Mrs May has moved on from saying that she would step down after Brexit indicating, through surrogates, that she’d like to continue until the next general election.

Mike Smithson

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