How Long Will Boris Johnson Last As UK Prime Minister?

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

Boris Johnson’s odds of being ousted as UK prime minister this year have plunged once again – as betting sites react to a humbling double defeat in by-elections this June.

The Conservatives lost ‘red wall’ seat Wakefield to Labour and surrendered the ‘true blue’ constituency of Tiverton and Honiton to the Lib Dems.

The crushing defeats against the government immediately ramped up pressure on Johnson to resign, with Tories concerned he is leading the party to general election defeat in 2024.

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But the PM has refused to countenance quitting No 10 and departed on an eight-day international tour of Africa and Europe to seemingly avoid the heat back home.

Having defended the government’s controversial Rwanda deportation scheme, he then insisted he is plotting for a third term as prime minister.

Remarkably, he isn’t yet through his first term and the turmoil witnessed both in the polls and the politics betting markets suggest he will not still be in power come the 2030s.

Boris Johnson Odds

Indeed, while Johnson now holds court with the other G7 leaders in a fresh round of international grandstanding in Germany, the plotters are working on his demise back home.

Backbench Tory MPs have already failed once in a confidence vote against the prime minister, but there is speculation the party could rewrite its own rule book to have another crack at dethroning him.

Dissatisfaction with the state of the economy and the persistent embarrassment of the partygate scandal have resulted in many previously loyal MPs turning away from Johnson. The two by-election defeats triggered alarm bells to sound in Conservative HQ, and some Tories are in talks about defecting to Labour.

And Johnson’s exit odds have spiked as a result. He is now 6/4 (40% probability) with bet365 to lose his job in 2022. That’s more likely than exiting in 2023 (26%), while the odds of him staying on until the next election linger at 15/8 (34%).

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Who Could Replace Johnson… And When?

There are a number of potential candidates who could swoop in to replace Johnson were the PM to be axed. Jeremy Hunt and Penny Mordaunt currently lead the race in the markets on political betting sites, with both priced around 5/1.

Hunt lost to Johnson in the 2019 leadership battle and his criticism of the PM is growing louder by the day. He would have plenty of support from more centrist Tories worried that the swing to populism will hurt the party in 2024.

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Mordaunt is also more centrist and has experience as defence secretary – which given Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the UK’s persistent wrangling with the EU over the Brexit deal means she would be in a strong position to swoop into No 10.

Foreign secretary Liz Truss would likely be the favourite among Conservative members but concerns over her electability across the general public means she is 7/1 with betting apps.

And Rishi Sunak – the once-popular chancellor who is now tasked with recouping the money spent on furlough during COVID-19 lockdown – has seen his odds expand from 2/1 favourite to 9/1 following a chastening few months for the ex-banker.