Given what is stake and the egos involved I cannot see the candidates not taking this contest to the members so that’s why I’m backing the 1/5 Paddy Power are offering.
After Leavers conspired to hand the crown to Mrs May in 2016 and bypassing the members there’ll be a desire for the members to take part, as a Tory member there’s a real desire amongst my fellow members to have the final say, something that I’d expect to be communicated to the MPs.
The only ways I cannot see this bet losing is if one candidate gets an overwhelming number of MPs voting for them. Something like at least 250 MPs voting for them and the remaining candidate decides to withdraw knowing they don’t have the support of the support of their colleagues, an issue that plagued the leadership of Iain Duncan Smith. But I don’t expect any candidate to get anything close to 250 votes from their fellow MPs, I’m not sure anyone will get close to 200.
The other way this bet might be a loser is if a scandal emerges involving one of the final two candidates and they withdraw from the race so I hope none of the contenders have any skeletons in their closet.
Fortunately the skeletons of the favourite for this contest are well known as one ally of Boris put it last year “At least you know what you are getting. People talk about politicians with skeletons in their closets. All Boris’s skeletons have skin and big tits and are walking around the West End.”
The rest of the candidates seem way too vanilla to be brought down by a scandal, in fact it was being a mother that brought down Andrea Leadsom last time.