Sajid Javid moves to second favourite to succeed Theresa May

Sajid Javid moves to second favourite to succeed Theresa May

From a 3.7% chance to 9%+ in just 25 days

Following a glowing write-up by Fraser Nelson in The Telegraph this morning there’s been a lot of been a fair bit of betting interest in the Home Secretary for next Conservative leader.

This is from the Nelson piece in which he looks at how Javid is handling his new job:

“His first change – rhetorical style – is relatively easy. The bigger test will be if he can win the battle that his predecessor kept losing: creating a more sensible immigration regime with more Tier 2 visas for highly-skilled workers. Ms Rudd wanted to let in a lot more doctors, engineers and computer programmers. Mrs May wanted no deviation from the overall target – and she won. This, of course, is the inflexibility that led to the Windrush debacle. If Mr Javid can replace this with a more liberal system – which can easily be introduced after Brexit – he’ll have won the gratitude of his party.

He isn’t disliked, which counts for a lot at a time when Tory leadership elections are won by whoever has the fewest enemies. When he ran for the leadership two years ago, the junior partner on a joint ticket with the now-forgotten Stephen Crabb, they presented themselves as the “nice guy” duo. That was the biggest boast either could make, having not achieved much or made clear what they stood for. As Home Secretary, Mr Javid is making it clearer now: he’s a reformer, someone who wants to change the tone of the party and is impatient for radical change. Someone who’s sure of himself and his form of conservatism… “

The favourite continues to be Jacob Rees-Mogg although he has seen a decline in recent weeks. My long-standing view has been that Rees-Mogg would find it hard to secure the support of 150 or more Conservative MPs required to get him onto the party members’ ballot. This is, of course, restricted to the top two elected by MPs.

Can Javid do it? Don’t know and in recent times baldies have not prospered in the role. Just think Hague and IDS.

Everything, of course, depends on timing of the next leadership contest. Is Theresa May really going to step down after brexit next March or is she going to be pushed beforehand? She could have caused make it right through to the end of the Parliament. Amazingly she’s been an incredible survivor so far

Mike Smithson

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