Political punters have been very keen on Sajid Javid’s chances of succeeding David Cameron as Tory leader ever since he became a cabinet minister last summer. We took a £1,000 bet on him today at 12/1 and he is now 10/1 fourth favourite (and Ladbrokes’ worst result). You could have backed him at 33/1 this time last year.
Boris remains a pretty strong favourite. He’s 1/50 to be elected MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in May, so that part of the equation isn’t in much doubt. If and when a vacancy does arise, he’d have to finish as one of the parliamentary party’s top two choices to send to the membership vote; that is much less of a certainty. It’s hard to tell just how much support he would have amongst MPs: His relatively pro-European views are not likely to be very helpful in that respect.
If Cameron steps down this year, the Tories are likely to be looking for someone to be Leader of the Opposition for the next five years. Many people would say that Boris Johnson might not be the right person for that particular task. Javid’s more humble background might also be a lot more appealing compared to electing another product of Eton and Oxford.
You can find our latest Tory leadership odds here.