How Long Will Boris Johnson Last as UK Prime Minister?

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

Boris Johnson looks increasingly likely to either quit his post as UK prime minister in 2021 or be ousted by his own MPs, a shift in the political betting markets suggests.

The PM, who has been leader of the Conservative Party for more than a year, is labouring in the opinion polls over his handling of coronavirus.

The UK has recorded one of the worst death rates in the world from the disease, while a second lockdown appears imminent as cases multiply on a daily basis.

Johnson himself contracted and overcame Covid-19 in April, which saw his approval ratings shoot to an all-time high.

But after a summer and autumn filled with turmoil over public health issues, exam grades, travel restrictions and an impending economic recession, it seems the clock is ticking on Johnson’s reign in power.

Johnson Quit Odds Narrow Further

Indeed, since the summer the odds on Johnson prematurely leaving his post before the next general election have slimmed significantly.

Punters previously believed the PM wouldn’t last out 2020, which saw the Paddy Power odds on him being ousted by Christmas fall to 3/1 over the summer. That price has now lifted to 7/1 as the year draws to a close.

But Johnson isn’t out of the woods just yet. Both Rishi Sunak and Michael Gove are said to be the lead contenders to replace the 55-year-old if he walks or is pushed.

And this has caused Ladbrokes to crunch their price of Johnson exiting in 2021 way down to just 2/1. The shift indicates just how strongly both bookmakers and punters believe that time is running out for the PM.

Sunak Edges Johnson in Conference Speeches

One thing that could save Johnson is securing a Brexit deal with the EU before the end of the year – something he pledged in the 2019 general election campaign.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Party Conference took place at the start of October without the usual fanfare of members watching in the auditorium. Instead, Johnson, Sunak and co. delivered their key party speeches to a TV camera that was streamed on news channels and social media.

Sunak certainly caught greater attention compared to his boss, with promises to readdress the support schemes in place to help those out of work due to Covid-19.

The chancellor’s conference speech also delivered some hard truths about the future of the UK economy, where he insisted government spending will have to rein in eventually.

And the public appear to have accepted this, while Johnson was criticised for coronavirus figures continue to dramatically rise, with pressure mounting on No 10 to set out its strategy for new lockdown measures.

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