That overstates his chances
Last time there was an LD leadership contest it got overshadowed by the Tory contest that saw Johnson take the crown. This time it is LAB’s leadership battle which is dominating the coverage which is understandable.
The vacancy, as we all know, has been created because Jo Swinson lost her seat at the general election and now the party is going through the process of electing a replacement. So far the possible contenders would appear to be:
- Ed Davey (Kingston & Surbiton majority 10,489) who ran against Swinson last time and is now acting leader. Betfair 63% chance.
- Layla Moran (Oxford W & Abingdon majority 8,943). For an LD MP she gets quite a lot of media coverage and, of course, she issued a statement at the weekend about her sexuality. Betfair 23% chance
- Daisy Cooper (St Albans GAIN from CON. LD majority 6,109). The LDs like those who can demonstrate that they are good at fighting elections and her victory on December 12th was one of the very few for that night. Ambitious and a good communicator. Betfair 11.1 chance
I think that the odds on Davey are too tight, perhaps about evens, and those on the two women too short. A key challenge for Ed is that he was a part of the coalition cabinet and that still has a negative impact.
The only other possible runner is Edinburgh West MP, Christine Jardine.
None of the three have declared and none was an MP between 2015 and 2017. My guess is that all of them will put their hats into the ring.
The LDs were squeezed like crazy last month with the Tories playing their ace – don’t risk a Corbyn government. That approach might not resonate as well if Starmer comes out top in the LAB contest.