Johnson’s Odds of Retaining Position in the UK Government Longer

Posted on: February 4, 2022, 09:09h. 

Last updated on: February 4, 2022, 10:23h.

As far as political embarrassments go, the situation for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson ranks among the top. This has caused his chances of retaining power to slip further, if Smarkets’ data is the gauge.

Boris Johnson
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears frazzled in this recent picture. More bettors expect him to leave office this year, especially after four close aides resigned in one day. (Image: Sky News)

Smarkets is one of the few betting platforms to be heavily into politics wagering. However, it knows how to capture the essence of what the average person thinks.

Among the top options for lines right now is Johnson’s ability to retain his place at the top of the British government. Smarkets bettors increasingly feel his days are numbered.

Irreconcilable Differences

A recent booze bash at Johnson’s home during the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t sit well with the general public. Smarkets’ head of political markets, Matthew Shaddick, indicated then that Johnson was losing favor, with his odds of sticking around beyond this year at 58%.

Johnson tried to apologize, but that didn’t help. It also doesn’t help that four of his closest senior aides resigned this week. One of these even provided her explanation for leaving to The Spectator. Munira Mirza told the news outlet that she no longer had confidence in the direction Johnson is heading.

Also gone are director of communication Jack Doyle, chief of staff Dan Rosenfield, and principal private secretary Martin Reynolds.

This has all led to an increase in the odds of Johnson facing a vote of no-confidence this month. Smarkets puts the odds at 43%. Additionally, the odds of Johnson leaving his position this year have gone from 59% to 67% in less than 24 hours.

Familiar Names Remain As Potential Replacements

Chancellor Rishi Sunak was the likely candidate to follow Johnson in Smarkets’ analysis last month. He only led by a small margin but has since gained ground. Now, the odds of him succeeding Johnson are at 36%, a 4% increase over yesterday’s figures.

Following Sunak is Foreign Secretary Lizz Truss. These two have been the favorites for a while, although Sunak, the former chief secretary to the Treasury, has a commanding advantage. Truss is only listed at 13% odds.

There are other names that are emerging, albeit without much support yet. Tonbridge Member of Parliament Tom Tugendhat has odds of 10%, and Jeremy Hunt, chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee, sits on odds of 9%. Minister of State for Trade Policy Penny Mordaunt has odds of 8%.

Shaddock highlighted the fact that Tugendhat, although a distant third against Sunak, should be watched. SBC News quoted him as saying, “Tom Tugendhat’s admission that he would likely run in a leadership race has seen him leapfrog better-known candidates into third place in the Next Tory Leader betting.”