Boris Johnson’s days as Prime Minister of the UK may be numbered. However, a look at the betting activity surrounding his reelection potential on Smarkets shows the odds getting longer.
Johnson became Prime Minister of the UK in July 2019 on a platform of support for Brexit. The New York-born British politician has had an interesting career as he has tried to navigate the UK to a new level of independence.
His tenure has seen its ups and downs, but he has been able to steer the course – until recently. Supply chain issues, COVID-19 concerns, and more have resulted in weakening confidence in his ability to lead.
It didn’t help that he admits to attending a “bring your own booze” party with staff members at his residence in May of last year during the lockdown.
Johnson has tried to appeal to public sympathy, recently stating in a speech in front of Parliament, “I have learned enough to know there were things we simply did not get right, and I must take responsibility. With hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside.”
Public Confidence on the Rails
A recent poll, conducted by Savanta ComRes, indicated that 66% of the respondents believe Johnson should resign. However, there was no indication of how many participated in the survey.
Another indication of whether Johnson has public support can be found in Smarkets, the betting platform that covers virtually everything. The odds of him resigning this year have reached their shortest price yet, settling at 1.70. This represents a 58% chance that he could walk away.
The UK’s general election isn’t scheduled to take place for another two years. However, it may not take that long for Johnson to leave. If he doesn’t resign, Smarkets puts his chances of being ousted by March at 25% – 20%, higher than where it was just a couple of months ago.
Still No Clear Successor
There are a couple of names being tossed around that could take Johnson’s place. However, these two aren’t finding a lot of public support, either.
Smarkets Head of Political Markets Matthew Shaddick asserts, “The race to succeed Johnson as Tory leader now has two clear front-runners in Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss. Not much more than a year ago, Truss was an 80/1 chance. But Smarkets users now make the Foreign Secretary around a 20% chance of taking over at the top.”
The polls show the Conservatives trailing at 60%. However, market prices for the next general election indicate that there is a 50% chance of a hung parliament. While the Conservatives are still favorites, their chances of retaining a majority have fallen to 35% from 50% last summer.
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