With nearly a fortnight to go before ballot papers in the Tory leadership election have to be returned, the amount of money matched on the betting exchanges continues to rise. The sum matched on Betfair has grown to £14m; another £2.2m has been wagered on Smarkets. Both betting exchanges predict that Boris Johnson will emerge triumphant, and his odds have narrowed to 1.06 (94.3%). Those on Jeremy Hunt have drifted out to 17 (5.8%).
Having tipped Johnson (among a host of other candidates) two years ago, I'm not going to recommend that you put any more money on either candidate. In any case, the odds seem about right, since Johnson has a huge lead in the membership opinion polls. Still, a lacklustre debate performance, his failure to back the (now former) UK ambassador to the US (see right), and the possibility of a last-minute scandal, mean that there is still a small chance that Hunt could yet end up as the next leader of the Tories.
However, if you want some real value, then I'd recommend that you turn your attention to Europe. Last week, it was announced that the German defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen (pictured), has been selected to be the president of the European Commission. Because of the controversial way she was appointed, there's a chance that the European Parliament could refuse to confirm her. I think it's unlikely they will reject her, so you should take the 1.33 (75.2%) available on Smarkets on her being the next president.
Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.
He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.
Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.
As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.
Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri
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