Uh Huh...You Said Huhne
After Ming's disastrous showing at PMQs yesterday, they're all throwing their hats into the ring.
Of course, Si we expected. But Chris Huhne? Who he?
Yes, we know he's 51, married, Westminster and Oxford educated (another first in PPE, just like Daves Cameron and Miliband), financial journalist. city economist , and Lib Dem MEP. But apart from that what do we know?
Well we do know he became the MP for Eastleigh in May 2005, inheriting a LD majority of 3068, and immediately slashing it to 568 (even worse than Miliband's dismal performance in South Shields). So...er, if you were looking for someone with a proven track record of building electoral support....umm...
Anyway, such is the competition, Huhne's now third favourite on 6.6/1. Baldie Oaten is on 13/1, and after yesterday, Ming has collapsed right down to 2.25/1 (an implied probability of success of only 30%, compared to 66% a couple of days ago.
So the front-runners curse strikes again, and the new leader is Si Hughes on 1.66/1.
This is dreadful news for the Orange Bookers. Their Ming-as-caretaker script is already off the rails, and unless they get somebody credible put up sharpish, they're going to get saddled with Si.
PS It seems quite likely that some of Ming's early supporters must be having doubts about his health. We all wish him well, but as the good Dr Crippen commented here a couple of days ago: "Ming has taken full advantage of Charlie's health problems. But Ming is telling porkies too. He has not "beaten" cancer as the press delight in saying. He is (I hope) in remission. Frankly, looking at him as a doctor, I have my doubts about his health. We need a declaration from Ming's oncologists that he is fit to become leader.We need to know what the odds are that he will alive/fit to fight the next election. I am not a bookmaker. But medically I would say less than 50%. This is quite spectacular political dishonesty and hypocrisy."
Pic: National Literacy Trust