Under Orders For Tory Beauty Contest.......
THE TORY PARTY Conference is set to signal the early stage of the 'beauty contest' which will eventually result in the accession to the leadership of one of the Party high-fliers when David Cameron steps down, as he has promised to do before the General Election.
Bookmakers William Hill believe the contest is likely to come down to a straight fight between George Osborne, the Chancellor and current 13/8 favourite, widely believed to be Mr Cameron's choice of successor, and the maverick former London Mayor Boris Johnson, the 7/2 second favourite, believed to be the popular choice with those outside of the Party's inner circle.
The first candidate actually to admit to being a 'runner' is Nicky Morgan, but she is currently regarded as a 33/1 outsider by William Hill.
'As soon as David Cameron became Tory leader, various camps began plotting to put their favourite into a prominent position when the succession contest arrived - but after Labour opted for a 200/1 outsider, punters might be wise to look beyond the obvious choices!' said Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe.
NEXT ELECTED TORY LEADER....11/8 George Osborne; 7/2 Boris Johnson; 8/1 Theresa May; 10/1 Sajid Javid; 20/1 Philip Hammond; 28/1 Michael Gove/Jeremy Hunt; 33/1 Nicky Morgan. Others on request.
WHEN WILL DAVID CAMERON CEASE TO BE TORY LEADER?....20/1 2015; 10/1 2016; 8/1 2017; 6/1 2018; 3/1 2019; 8/13 2020; 12/1 2021 OR LATER.
NEXT PRIME MINISTER.....13/8 Osborne; 4/1 Johnson; 6/1 Corbyn; 11/1 Javid/May; 16/1 Jarvis/D Miliband. Others on request.