Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning has been tipped as the next leader of the Conservative Party by a well-known political commentator.
Bookmakers are already offering 8/1 on David Cameron to be gone as Prime Minister by the end of 2016.
And Damian McBride, who was previously a leading civil servant, has singled out Mr Penning as his outside tip as the next party leader, with odds of 100/1.
Mr McBride writes: “I would stick a conservative quid on Mike Penning: working-class Essex boy; former soldier and fireman; solid Eurosceptic.
“He’s in the firing line of the biggest and most politically-sensitive public spending cuts as policing minister and if he resists those publicly, or resigns over them, he’ll become a standard-bearer against Team (George) Osborne.”
Mr Penning was first elected as Hemel MP in 2005, overturning a 4,000 Labour majority.
His 100/1 odds are offered by the bookmakers Paddy Power.
He has held a variety of ministerial roles since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, although he has not yet risen to cabinet level.
However Damian McBride believes that Mr Penning’s status as a reliatve outsider could be a huge help to his hopes.
Boris Johnson is current bookies favourite to be the next Conservative leader, with the most generous odds being 11/5 with online bookies bet365.
Mr Penning is not being offered as a runner by all voting websites.
But according to the website oddschecker.com the most popular candidates among punters are Boris Johnson, Theresa May and George Osborne.