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How long will Tony Blair stay?

May 13th, 2005

    After three victories and they call him a vote loser!

Whatever your political allegiances it is hard not to feel a touch of sympathy for Tony Blair. After delivering his party’s third successive General Election victory the first thing he has to face when meeting his MPs again is dissent and calls for him to step down quickly.

To have pulled of this triumph and to have seen off his fourth Tory leader is an incredible achievement – particularly against the backdrop of the war and all the associated issues that arose.

    Yesterday he made clear to his party that he would “go in his own time” and we have little doubt that he will. That is why we think punters should back Blair in the new betting markets that have been created.

An interesting one, from Spreadfair, is a spread market on “How many weeks will Tony Blair remain as Prime Minister during his third term in office?” The current price is 80-89 weeks which would take us to Christmas next year.

For the purposes of this market this week is defined as week 1, the week starting 16th May 2005 as week 2, the week starting 23rd May 2005 as week 3, etc. For clarity if Blair announces his resignation for a date in the future, but carries on as Prime Minister in the interim, then the market will be settled on his actual final day as Prime Minister, not the time of the announcement. So you have to factor in the time for a contest.

Other markets are:-
Will he last longer than Mrs Thatcher? – Yes 13/2
Which year will he step down? Currently 2006 is the 5/4 favourite.
Will he step before Michael Howard? It’s 3/1 yes and 2/9 no.

After coping with this first difficult week the next challenging period will not be until the party conference in the autumn. Blair’s great strength is that although many in the party do not like him he is a winner.

When it comes to the crunch winning is more important to the mass of the party than having a leader they like. That’s why we say – Back Blair.

Mike Smithson






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