Jockying for position

Plenty will either come unstuck at the obstacles along the way or not be able to stay the trip.

Andrea Leadsom, Leader of The House of Commons, may have set off the starter's gun for the Conservative Party leadership race this morning when she withheld her long-term backing from Theresa May.

Leadsom refused to comment when asked on BBC Radio 4 if the current Prime Minister should stand down. She remains one of many in the battle to succeed Theresa May, which was described by Nigel Evans as having “more runners and riders than the Grand National”.

Michael Gove currently stands in pole position to become the next Prime Minister at 4/1, suggesting a 20% chance that he is the next inhabitant of 10 Downing Street.

Unsurprisingly he, therefore, heads the next Tory Leader market at 4/1 but is closely followed by Boris Johnson at 5/1.

The top end of the field looks like this:

Michael Gove 4/1

Boris Johnson 5/1

Jeremy Hunt 10/1

Dominic Raab 12/1

Sajid Javid 12/1

David Liddington 20/1

Andrea Leadsom 25/1

Amber Rudd 33/1

Punters have been queuing up to back David Lidington to replace May as Tory leader, with over 26% of bets being placed on the MP for Aylesbury. Punters could have their fingers burnt though as he seemingly doesn't want the job.

Market favourite, Michael Gove has been the second most backed, he’s received just under 19% of bets in the next Tory leader market this week.

The Tory leadership race being compared to the Grand National both indicates how open the contest will be, and suggests that plenty will either come unstuck at the obstacles along the way or not be able to stay the trip.

Boris Johnson will likely race keen and there have to be concerns as to whether he is genuine, whereas we can expect an aggressive ride from favourite Michael Gove with little concern for the other runners.