The next general election in Great Britain is shaping up to be a very interesting affair. The odds available from 1xbit sum up the race quite nicely, with the Labour Party priced at 1.90 and the Conservatives at 2.00.
It really is a neck-and-neck contest at the moment, and it is unusual for bookmakers not be more profound in who they believe will win. Perhaps as far as the political betting markets are concerned they are right to be wary: the ‘Leave’ position in the Brexit Referendum won at odds of 4.00, while Donald Trump won the US Presidential race as a 6.00 outsider!
That general election goes some way towards determining any next Prime Minister predictions, because the leader of the winning party will naturally take up their position at 10 Downing Street. But who those leaders will be is anybody’s guess….
The general consensus in the Conservative Party is that Theresa May’s time as leader is on the rocks. She called a snap election in 2017 to secure a mandate from the voting public – remember, she replaced the former prime minister, David Cameron, via an internal promotion after Cameron resigned the leadership.
So May had never been voted in democratically, and her plan was to use the 2017 election as a way of securing that all-important vote of confidence. Privately, she also wanted to strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations by demolishing Labour and enhancing confidence in her. What followed was something of a disaster….
The Conservatives won; but only just. They secured 42.4% of the vote but made a net loss of 13 parliamentary seats. Labour, meanwhile, were considered a rank outsider by the bookies but actually won 40% of the vote, gaining 30 seats.
The Tories went from expecting a heavy victory to only just achieving a minority government, which had to be propped up by the Irish political party DUP.
This has weakened May’s grip as Prime Minister significantly, and the converse effect of that is Labour have become the bookmakers’ favourite to win the next General Election in the UK, according to the next Prime Minister Odds; whenever that may be.
The Labour Party has undergone something of a makeover in recent years, with the smugness of Tony Blair, the incompetence of Gordon Brown and the hapless Ed Miliband giving way to Jeremy Corbyn, a politician despised by some but a leader who has undoubtedly brought fresh energy to the party, as well as that all-important youth vote – evidenced by their performance in that General Election of 2017.
So you might think that Corbyn as the next incumbent of 10 Downing Street would be a given in any next Prime Minister betting tips, but even his party has been weighed down by controversy and difficulties of late.
There have been accusations of anti-Semitism that have dogged Corbyn since he took the Labour premiership, and despite his best efforts to assuage the Jewish community in the UK there are still doubts about his integrity.
And you sense that the British public will take some convincing that a politician with socialist leanings can be a tough, decisive leader at a time when a strong hand is required in the ace of growing tensions between the US and North Korea and the situation with Russia threatening to escalate.
The next UK Prime Minister Odds don’t feature Theresa May, of course, as she is the current PM. But actually, it is her future in the role which dictates where punters should put their money.
If May survives as Conservative Party leader until the next General Election, there is a strong chance – reflecting in the betting odds – that Labour will win the vote. At which point Jeremy Corbyn will be sworn in as the next Prime Minister, and as such his odds of 5.50 with bookmakers like William Hill will look great value.
But if May resigns – or is forcibly removed as PM by a vote of no confidence from her party – then Corbyn will take on a new Conservative leader in the election.
That’s why the next Prime Minister Odds feature names such as Jacob Rees-Mogg (5.00) and Boris Johnson (9.00), who are expected to battle for the Tory leadership.
The Conservatives are expected to vote for a new leader with more right-wing leanings that matches the Brexit referendum result, rather than more moderate candidates like Andrea Leadsom and Amber Rudd.
They don’t come much more right-wing than Rees-Mogg, whose views range from the hard-line to the downright bizarre. He has won a number of polls that queried who would be the next Conservative leader, but some of his extreme views are unlikely to go down well with the wider British public.
Johnson is equally as divisive, if slightly more moderate, than Rees-Mogg, and yet his public persona as a bit of a buffoon would also put the Tories’ reign on Downing Street in jeopardy.
So whichever way you look at it, we have to say as part of our next UK Prime Minister predictions that Jeremy Corbyn in a worthy favourite with the sportsbooks in those Next Prime Minister Betting Markets.
4. When Will the Next UK General Election Take Place?
That’s a good question. Under the terms of the traditional Fixed-Terms Parliaments Act, the next General Election in the UK will take place on May 5, 2022.
But with the recent political upheaval in the UK, and as the Brexit negotiations continue to rumble on, it’s possible that an election may be called as early as the summer of 2019.
The sequence of events that could trigger that would be if May was to resign or be ousted once the Brexit process is completed in March 2019. A new Conservative leader would be sought, and it’s possible a General Election would be called with that new figurehead – and ‘Prime Minister’, by all accounts – taking on Corbyn’s Labour and the other minor parties.
There is lots that can happen in the fast-changing political landscape, but it’s one which punters can take full advantage of.