Here in the UK we’ve had our fair share of political turmoil over the past few years and if the bookies’ odds are to be believed, there is more on the horizon. Boris Johnson has been elected as the new leader of the Conservative Party and subsequently becomes Britain’s third Prime Minister since that fateful EU referendum barely three years ago.
Boris Johnson has replaced Theresa May at Number 10 thanks to a resounding victory of Jeremy Hunt in the Tory leadership campaign. Johnson, a fierce Brexiteer lead the Leave campaign in the build-up to the 2016 referendum and divides opinion like few other politicians in the UK. As a result, the odds have been slashed on a General Election taking place in 2019 with Betfair offering odds of just 5/4 on the nation going to the polling stations yet again this year.
Ironically enough, an article penned by Boris Johnson for The Telegraph back in 2007 may well return to haunt Britain’s new PM. The article was written immediately after Gordon Brown had become Prime Minister in not too dissimilar circumstances to those that Johnson himself faced. Brown was elected Prime Minister after being appointed as the Labour Party’s new leader following the resignation of Tony Blair. In the article Boris Johnson labelled Gordon Brown as “arrogant”, alleging that the then-Prime Minister was “trampling on the democratic will of the British people”. He concluded the article with a request, “let’s have an election without delay”, something he’s not been as eager to request this time around. However, Johnson has been reminded of this scathing attack on Gordon Brown, leading many to believe he may have to call a General Election sooner rather than later.
Alternatively, a recent YouGov poll found that less than 4 in 10 of us believe a General Election should be called. The majority of those quizzed do not believe a change in leadership will help Britain in this time of turmoil.
Here are the latest odds on the year of the next General Election, courtesy of Betfair:
2019 - 5/4
2022 or later - 7/4
2020 - 4/1
2021 - 7/1
If a General Election is called it remains to be seen whether Boris Johnson will retain his position as Prime Minister. His hopes of re-election may well hinge on how he handles Brexit negotiations in the coming months. With Brexit such a hot political topic, fellow Leave campaigner, Nigel Farage, is also in the running to become the nation’s next Prime Minister. Farage, now in charge of the newly-formed Brexit Party, is just 8/1 with Betfred to be Prime Minister after the next General Election.
Inevitably, this particular betting market is headed by the leaders of the Conservative and Labour parties. Tory leader and current Prime Minister is priced at Evens to still be in power after the next General Election whilst opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is a 9/4 shot.
Prime Minister after General Election, courtesy of Betfred:
Boris Johnson - Evens
Jeremy Corbyn - 9/4
Nigel Farage - 8/1
With the UK facing so much uncertainty during their upcoming Brexit negotiations speculation is inevitably rife over the prospect of the nation selling off its assets. Betfair are offering a massive 125/1 on the NHS becoming privatised in 2019, but some of the UK’s other state-owned enterprises will be slightly more vulnerable in the coming months.
Here are the latest Betfair odds on the first enterprise to be privatised first in 2019:
Network Rail - 16/1
Ordnance Survey - 16/1
NATS Holdings - 20/1
BBC - 25/1
Post Office - 25/1
The Royal Parks - 55/1
NHS - 125/1
According to some, it isn’t just these state-owned assets that are under threat but the United Kingdom itself. Former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has suggested that Boris Johnson may be the UK’s last ever leader. Brown believes a no deal Brexit could lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom.
Brown explained, “A No Deal Brexit also threatens a United Kingdom that even now seems united in name only. Boris Johnson has no workable answer to the Northern Ireland border problem and his opposition to the fundamental lynchpins of Scotland’s relationship with Britain is well known.”
Brown added, “He opposes the level of Scottish representation in the UK; he opposes the devolution settlement and the powers the Parliament has; he opposes the funding format based on needs and demography and he thinks it’s just wrong for a Scot to be PM of the UK - a jibe I thought was directed at me but I now think was aimed at Michael Gove.”
Gordon Brown continued his scathing assessment of the new regime, claiming, “Indeed it sometimes seems as if is fated to be remembered not as the 55th Prime Minister of the UK but as the first Prime Minister of England. But with Conservative members and supporters saying the end of the Union is a price worth paying for Brexit, a more extreme SNP now proposes to leave the UK customs union, the UK single market and the UK Pound. Scotland is caught between two extremes - Conservative and Nationalist - that both put the Union at risk."
The political landscape is so volatile at the moment that there are numerous betting markets available via many of our betting partners, including Betfair and Betfred. Look for the ‘Specials’ sub-category on your chosen betting site for all the latest politically-focused bets.