Our man in the betting shop posted a comment to an earlier piece we wrote on the odds for deputy leader candidates. We thought it needed wider airing so have decided to post it here. We would also like to hear from any readers who has placed bets with other firms, please let us know what odds you are getting in the comments.
Henry G writes:
I think Hills have got a few of these prices (and spelling of names) wrong (particularly the Cruddas price). You can clearly scrub out a few:
David Miliband 11/1 – has wisely refused to stand for either leader or deputy
Jack Straw 16/1 – hardly a breath of fresh air, reasonably respected, but still looks like the Demon Headmaster, even without glasses.
Alan Milburn 20/1 – no base in the party and particularly union movment
Patricia Hewitt 33/1 – are you aving a laff
Beckett – why would she risk her political capital from Foreign Sec for Deputy Leader. Someone who served in the Callaghan Govt is perhaps not the fresh face we need.
Brown 33/1 – hardly
Balls 33/1 – too close to Brown.
Blunkett 33/1 – laughing stock – hardly the man to replace Prescott
Darling 33/1 – see Balls. Next Chancellor.
Clarke 50/1 – the most hated person in the labour party
So we are left with 5:
Blears 50/1 – insanely cheerful, odds about right
Johnson 3/1 – about right, could be a real contender, but could just as easily go for the leadership, not trusted by the big unions because of his support for PR
Hain 2/1 – lost credibility with his natural liberal/left base for not resigning over Iraq. Has flip-flopped over Europe in dramatic fashion. Been a good Northern Ireland Secretary. Could pick up some support, but can’t help coming across as a little vain and smarmy.
Harman 7/1 – people haven’t forgotten where she sent her children to school. Too posh, but has made a good case for a female deputy. Would only be a real contender if Brown publicly backed her, but that’s unlikely.
Cruddas 50/1 – his main advantages are that he’s not associated with past Govt failures, would be seen as fresh, excellent trade union links and would have support for his respected work against the BNP. Since we know we’re in a drawn out leadership (and deputy leadership) campaign, he has 4-6 months to set out his stall and meet a lot of members. I’d put his ‘true’ odds at 6/1 and with some good exposure he could gain real momentum.
I think it’s between Johnson, Hain, Cruddas and Harman and of those Cruddas represents enormous value at 50/1.