New Political Betting Lines Posted in UK Following PM Liz Truss’ Resignation

Posted on: October 20, 2022, 09:23h. 

Last updated on: October 20, 2022, 12:37h.

In what will go down as the shortest term for a prime minister in the UK, Liz Truss has confirmed she’s calling it quits. The announcement didn’t come as a surprise, but it means the political betting lines are seeing a flurry of new activity.

UK Prime Minister Liz Truss
UK Prime Minister Liz Truss speaks in front of Parliament. She officially announced her resignation, with new political odds markets lining up the potential replacements. (Image: BBC)

Truss lost authority in her party amid internal criticism. After just 45 days in office, the Conservative leader has become the British Prime Minister with the shortest mandate. She’s the fourth head of the British government who has been forced to resign in just over six years.

Truss explained that she will remain in office until a successor is chosen in an internal election of the Conservative Party. This should take place some time next week.

Fifth Time’s the Charm

Graham Brady, who oversees the party’s leadership elections, has signaled that the party would like to install a new leader by October 31. He said he spoke with Conservative Party Chairman Jake Berry and learned that the final vote could occur by October 28.

So far, the Tories have been unable to rally around a successor, according to British media. Brady has left open the possibility of only one candidate running.

Earlier today, Smarkets released data that showed there was an 83% chance of someone replacing Truss before the end of the year. The odds of her leaving this week were 8% as of Wednesday. They had climbed to 25% this morning, and have moved very fast from there. In the wake of Truss’ pending departure, familiar faces are returning to the betting lines. Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt top the list, with Sunak’s chances currently at 50%. Mordaunt is a distant second at 28.17%.

Sunak previously had a leading position as a potential replacement for former PM Boris Johnson. He lost in the first round against Truss for control of the government.

Mordaunt is the Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council. She previously served as the Secretary of State for International Development and Secretary of State for Defence under former PM Theresa May.

Johnson is back on the list of potential candidates as well. His line on Smarkets is currently at 14.71%.

UK Instability Continues

The rebellion among the Tories had made continuity at the head of the government virtually impossible. There had been an increasing number of Conservative deputies calling for Truss to resign. She lost her authority after having had to dismantle practically all of her fiscal projects due to the earthquake triggered in the financial markets.

The political crisis deepened after the resignation of Suella Braverman as Minister of the Interior. Almost simultaneously, there was chaos during a parliamentary vote on Wednesday, in which dozens of conservative deputies did not comply with the voting process.

Truss, who previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, took office on September 6 after winning the Conservative Party’s internal elections. She rode in on a platform of lower taxes, although her strategy to reach that goal fell apart.

There have been calls for a general election, but that isn’t very likely. Smarkets has the chance of that occurring this year at 9%, though it jumps to 29% for next year.

If there was any chance of gambling reform taking place soon, that likely won’t happen, either. The government has to figure out who it wants to be before it can tackle the issue.