Rishi Sunak And Liz Truss Odds To Replace Boris Johnson Shift
Prime minister Boris Johnson looks certain to face a leadership challenge at some point in 2022 – but calculating who will go head-to-head against him is proving tricky for punters on the best betting sites.
Johnson’s poll ratings have collapsed over a spate of allegations regarding partying at No 10 during the height of Covid lockdown.
The sleaze scandals began in the autumn and have run through the New Year period. This, coupled with a growing rate of Covid-19 infection across the country and a winter energy crisis, has led to Tory MPs calling for Johnson to walk.
And there are a number of candidates supposedly jostling to replace the PM were he to resign. Among them is long-standing favourite Rishi Sunak, arch Brexiteer Liz Truss and the alternative candidate Jeremy Hunt.
And now a new face has joined the fray, with reports the UK’s former defence secretary Penny Mordaunt could now make a push for No 10.
Next Conservative Leader Betting Odds
|Rishi Sunak||5/4||William Hill|
Penny Mordaunt Betting Odds
According to the latest odds on political betting sites, Mordaunt is now one of the frontrunners at 16/1 to be the next UK prime minister and 14/1 to be the next leader of the Conservative Party.
That is a remarkable squeeze in the odds from 45/1 at the start of this week, and highlights just how serious many MPs are about backing her.
According to Politics Home, Mordaunt is the dark horse to succeed Johnson. The trade minister is well liked among Red Wall MPs and has an impressive international reputation that the UK needs in its post-Brexit state.
Yet even getting to the stage where there is a candidate to replace Johnson could prove tricky.
How Johnson Could Lose His Job
There are three ways in which Johnson could lose his job. The first is that the Tories lose a general election and his voted out of office, which is unlikely to happen as a snap election in 2022 isn’t expected to be called.
The second is that he resigns. However, No 10 insists that he will fight for his job to the bitter end.
And that therefore leaves the third option: a leadership contest against one or more fellow Tory MPs, which will result in a one-on-one battle to be determined by Conservative members across the country.
Who Could Replace Boris Johnson?
In order to trigger a leadership challenge the 1922 Committee requires 54 letters of no confidence in the prime minister. And here are the lead candidates to replace Johnson, according to political betting sites…
The chancellor has been favourite to replace Johnson ever since he introduced the furlough scheme during the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020.
Sunak has positioned himself as the likeable face of the Tory party – a figure whose public spending on furlough drew plenty of praise from centrists and left-wingers alike.
His odds have recently come in from 2/1 to 5/4 with William Hill, seemingly due to his ability to keep out of the limelight as the scandals continue to pepper Johnson’s door.
The foreign secretary, who recently earned the brief of negotiating the UK’s latest trade issues with the EU, is second favourite at 5/1. But, those odds have widened slightly.
Interestingly, the country isn’t overly keen on Truss being in power, but she is the No 1 choice for Tory members. And in a leadership contest it is ultimately these 175,000 people or so who would choose the PM in the wake of a one-on-one vote.
The former health secretary has seen his star rise during the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly due to his willingness to question the government over its handling of the crisis.
Hunt lost to Johnson in the 2019 leadership contest and would be a safe choice for non-populist voters. But whether the party is ready to loosen its grip on a populist winning formula remains to be seen.
The outsider who has shot in to fourth favourite, Mordaunt may be the most palatable option for all concerned. As a former defence secretary, she has the appeal of old-guard Tory faithfuls, and she has respect from within the international community.
However, whether or not she would get enough support from fellow MPs to tackle Johnson one-on-one is not clear.
The Best Of The Rest
Other contenders, according to the UK bookmakers, include defeated 2019 leadership hopefuls Michael Gove at 16/1 with bet365, Sajid Javid (20/1) and Tom Tugendhat (25/1).
Dominic Raab and Priti Patel are also out at 33/1 and appear some way off being in a position to take on Johnson. Yet Mordaunt’s odds drop is evidence that candidates can spring forward at a moment’s notice – and the likes of Mark Harper, Steve Baker or even Matt Hancock could all enter the fray.
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