UK Sleaze Scandal Harms Conservatives’ Odds Of Winning Next Election

UK Sleaze Scandal Harms Conservatives’ Odds Of Winning Next Election
© PA

The sleaze scandal that has engulfed Boris Johnson’s Conservative party over the past month has harmed the chances of a Tory majority at the next UK election, according to political betting sites.

Johnson has overseen a tumultuous few weeks in office as the spotlight is cast on how MPs with second jobs may be influenced in Westminster.

The scandal began when the government attempted to defend Owen Paterson’s consultancy work for two companies, for whom he had broken lobbying rules.

The country reacted in fury to Johnson’s proposals to effectively rewrite the parliamentary standards rulebook in order to let Paterson off the hook. Eventually, No 10 U-turned on the decision and Paterson resigned as an MP.

Since then numerous claims regarding the improper conduct of MPs in Westminster – particularly those with multiple high-paying jobs – have surfaced. So intense is the scrutiny that the issue of paid lobbying has morphed to also examine any forms of employment MPs undertake while on ministerial duty.



Conservatives Election Odds Worsen

The scandal has emboldened opposition parties, while many newly elected Tory MPs are said to be unhappy with the actions of the old guard, many of whom boast high-paying consultancy roles at big companies.

Further scrutiny around how PPE contracts were awarded during the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic is expected.

Johnson has since admitted to Conservative MPs that he “crashed the car” in how he handled the Paterson issue, which has opened the floodgates on sleaze in Westminster.

And the situation has resulted in a dent in the Tories’ chances of winning the next election.

According to Paddy Power, the odds of a Conservative majority have worsened to 8/11. That represents a 57.9% likelihood of Johnson’s party winning the 2024 UK election outright.

Labour, meanwhile, have seen their odds on security a minority victory come in past a Conservative minority to 2/1 (33.3% likelihood).

 

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Will Labour Boost Hold?

Evidently the recent allegations flying around Westminster have aided Labour. Some polls have the opposition party ahead by a percentage point following the series of scandals, while the Conservatives have seen their approval ratings plummet.

In fact, Johnson’s own approval rating is at an all-time low, with 60% of voters now disapproving of the PM.

However, the odds also reveal how far Labour still has to go if it is to viably challenge the Conservatives at the next election.

Sir Keir Starmer’s party is as wide as 9/2 with the top betting sites to win a majority in May 2024 – less than a one-in-five chance. For now a Conservative minority remains more likely.

Labour has tried to put pressure on the government over numerous issues since Starmer became leader, including the Covid-19 pandemic response, the funding of free school meals, sleaze, soaring energy prices and last winter’s Christmas lockdown.

Yet while Labour have tried to hold Johnson’s feet to the fire, the Tories have largely floated high in the polls – particularly because they delivered Brexit at the start of 2021.

Johnson has delivered the central policy of his 2019 election manifesto but now that sparkle is wearing thin. If he doesn’t end the sleaze scandal soon then his party will suffer even more repetitional damage.

FAQ


The next UK election will take place on Thursday 2 May 2024, under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, which states elections must be held a minimum every five years. However, it can be held sooner than this if two-thirds of MPs agree to a snap election.

The UK election cycle runs for a maximum of five years, under the terms of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. However, snap elections can also be called at any time, so long as there is a two-thirds majority approval among MPs.

There is no obligation for Parliament to call a new UK election if the Prime Minister resigns their office. This is because the country votes for a party to govern, rather than an individual. However, there could be a no confidence vote in the government, which may trigger a snap election.

The UK’s two main parties — Labour and the Conservatives — are likely to dominate the 2024 UK election. The Conservatives have been in power since 2010 and currently boast an 80-seat majority in the House of Commons. Other parties who are likely to run in 2024 include the Liberal Democrats, Green Party and Scottish National Party.

UK politics betting odds are in a constant state of flux due to the ever-changing nature of global affairs. Top bookmakers offer regular markets for betting on the next Prime Minister, which party will win the next election, and who will be leader of the opposition.

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