How Long Will Rishi Sunak Last As UK Prime Minister?

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How Long Will Rishi Sunak Last As UK Prime Minister?
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UK betting sites are beginning to back away from the idea Rishi Sunak will deliver a Conservative majority at the next election and reckon his time in No 10 is numbered.

Mr Sunak has been unable to improve the Tories’ poll ratings since he succeeded Liz Truss as prime minister in the autumn of 2022.

Labour’s 22-point lead over the government is holding firm as the country prepares for a swathe of local elections in May. 

After that, attention will turn to what is likely to be a November general election.

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Mr Sunak is scrambling for support across the country following the rise of Reform UK, which has pulled right-wing voters away from the government. Labour hold the centre ground.

It means the odds of Mr Sunak delivering a majority in the Commons have never been so wide. 

What’s more, political betting sites reckon there’s a growing chance his backbench MPs will trigger a ‘no-confidence vote’ in their leader.

Rishi Sunak Odds

Mr Sunak’s inability to improve Tory support among voters means there is a 1% chance his party will win the most seats at the next election. 

That makes Labour’s odds of 2/17 to claim the most seats almost a shoo-in.

What’s more, QuinnBet recently pushed their odds on a Conservative majority out to 25/1. That suggests a 3.8% probability, compared to Labour’s 1/12 (92.3%).

These markets are all-but settled now. Labour will win the next election unless they capitulate between now and the autumn.

Instead, the betting is turning to when Mr Sunak could leave office. This will almost certainly coincide with the election unless his MPs mount an insurrection this summer.

This insurrection could come via a no confidence vote that Mr Sunak would struggle to fend off. Coral price this rebellion at 11/4.

Each of the last three Tory prime ministers have fallen via backbench rebellion. 

Mr Sunak is not immune and has lost support from right-wingers in his party who believe he isn’t being tough enough on immigration.

Can Sunak Keep His Job?

Betting on when Mr Sunak leaves office has therefore become complicated. 

Punters can wager on the month of the next UK general election and expect that to be Mr Sunak’s exit date. November is currently the frontrunner there.

Or they can bank on a leadership challenge from the likes of Penny Mordaunt, Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch.

There’s likely to be chaos in the Conservative parliamentary party if, as expected, they suffer huge losses in the May local elections.

Mr Sunak will have to come out fighting. Early summer seems to be the traditional time for rumours of rebellion to surface. 

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He and chancellor Jeremy Hunt will likely begin offering pre-election carrots in June and July to fend off the wolves.

But even if Mr Sunak leads the Tories into the next election, he will almost certainly be gone by the end of the year.

Labour’s lead is too strong. Some Tories have argued the best way to combat Labour is to join forces with Reform, just as they did with the Brexit Party at the 2019 election.

Former PM Liz Truss certainly seems happy to welcome Nigel Farage back into the Tory party.

Mr Sunak, though, has a more delicate game of politics to play. He cannot pander too far to the right without risking centrist support.

His cabinet is full of moderate Tories including Mr Hunt, Lord Cameron, and Oliver Dowden. The likes of Ms Braverman and Lee Anderson have been steadily pushed out of the inner circle.

But pitching the Conservatives as a moderate party at the next election won’t stick. 

The country seems desperate for change after 14 years of Conservative rule and Mr Sunak has failed to pitch himself as a ‘change’ candidate.

Instead, many people are looking at this year as a coin toss between Labour and Reform. 

These voters, many of whom backed Boris Johnson in 2019, aren’t interested in the Tories. No wonder betting apps have fled them too.

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Joe Short

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