How Long Will Boris Johnson Last as UK Prime Minister?

How Long Will Boris Johnson Last as UK Prime Minister?
© PA
Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party gained an 80-seat majority in the last General Election (© PA Images)

Rishi Sunak is now the clear and stable favourite to replace Boris Johnson as the next Conservative leader, but the latest politics betting odds suggest the popular chancellor may have to wait years until he can take over the reins.

The Conservatives currently have an 80-seat majority in the UK Parliament, having secured a huge victory in the December 2019 general election.

Sunak has captured the loyalty of many Tories – and a good wealth of the UK population too – thanks to his furlough scheme that has covered the wages of millions of people during the coronavirus crisis.

And while many of his other cabinet ministers come under fire for their departmental reactions to the crisis, Sunak has so far kept his collar clean of bust-ups, mis-steps and political drama.

Sunak Favourite For Next Tory Leader

Because of this, bookmakers are seeing their odds on Sunak being the next MP to replace Johnson stabilise at 3/1.

When Sunak first issued his furlough scheme the chancellor was a distant 10/1 with Unibet to become Johnson’s successor. His odds collapsed to 2/1 at the start of May and have since held stead.

All the while, Sunak’s fellow cabinet ministers appear to be drifting further away from the premiership. Michael Gove – once a frontrunner to succeed Theresa May before Johnson got the top job – is now languishing at 12/1 with 888.

Likewise, the under-fire Dominic Raab is 12/1, while health secretary Matt Hancock has seen his price collapse to 25/1.

Johnson Not Going Anywhere

However, despite Sunak’s clear popularity both among his fellow MPs and the general public, the former Goldman Sachs banker is still a long way off touching Johnson.

At the end of 2019, the markets suggested Johnson was on course to be ousted from his position by New Year’s 2021, largely over Brexit. Yet the coronavirus crisis has in fact bolstered support for the 55-year-old.

Johnson is now 2/5 to stay out his term and leave in 2023 or later, a climb down from the 5/1 price set last autumn, when his early days as leader were riddled with Tory infighting over Brexit.

What’s more, while the odds on Johnson leaving in 2020 have nudged from 10/1 to 9/2 over the course of the coronavirus outbreak, a later leave date still remains more likely.

Interestingly, betting data suggests almost 75% of punts on Johnson’s exit date are focused on a 2020 departure.

This may be artificially driving that price down, as recent opinion polling suggests the population still have a favourable view of the ex-London mayor, while the Tories maintain a healthy lead in national polls.

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