How Long Will Boris Johnson Last as UK Prime Minister?

How Long Will Boris Johnson Last as UK Prime Minister?
© PA

Boris Johnson has seen his chances of retaining his job as UK prime minister until the next general election solidify further despite polls suggesting the Conservative party are struggling to connect with the public.

Johnson took office in the summer of 2019 before securing a five-year term after leading the Tories to an 80-seat majority in the general election later that year.

At the start of January he delivered on his promise to ‘Get Brexit Done’ by taking the UK out of the European Union with a trade deal ratified at the eleventh hour.

Usually when a prime minister achieves one of their key manifesto pledges the likelihood of them keeping their job for years to come increases.

Yet remarkably this has happened to Johnson while poll ratings for the Conservative party have barely moved, which suggests there is a growing unease with the party, not the premier.

Boris Johnson Latest Odds

According to UK bookmakers, the odds of Johnson either resigning or being sacked in 2021 have widened to 3/1 – the widest price since he was admitted to hospital suffering from coronavirus last spring.

Brexit may well be the reason why the PM’s odds are holding firm. At one stage in the summer Johnson was odds-on to be ousted before the end of 2021.

However, another reason for the narrowing of odds despite the tepid approval ratings of Johnson’s governing party is the lack of an identifiable candidate to challenge him.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is the current 2/1 favourite to be the next prime minister but appears in no position to push his boss right now.

Other cabinet ministers Dominic Raab, Priti Patel and Liz Truss are way down the politics betting odds, with Michael Gove (7/1) the only real other contender from within the Johnson cabinet.

Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer, meanwhile, may have brought the opposition party neck-and-neck with the Tories with a 39% voting intention but he is still 3/1 to be the next PM.

When Could Boris Johnson Leave?

While Johnson’s current standing within his own party seems strong for now, there are issues he must contend with in 2021 that could make life difficult inside No 10.

For a start, local elections are planned for the summer which will offer a first indicator of how the public think the Tories under Johnson are doing. There is also a Scottish parliamentary election that will intensify the focus on the Scottish National Party and independence north of the border.

Joe Biden’s victory in the US election means Johnson may also have to tread carefully on the international stage, with the new president likely to take the EU side in any debate over Northern Ireland since the Brexit trade deal was agreed.

The odds on Johnson leaving his job in 2022 have widened to 5/1, which indicates that bettors believe he is either going to leave this year or will be in it for the long haul. Indeed, bookmakers are offering a price of 5/6 on the former Mayor of London remaining in power until at least 2024.

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