Has the Next Prime Minister Market Taken a Surprise Turn?

Updated Thursday 21st February 2019, 02:30 PM

When Theresa May called a snap general election in April 2017, bookmakers installed her as a massively odds-on favourite in their markets for the Next Prime Minister, with some quoting as little as 1/40 about her staying in Number 10 Downing Street. Since then, her odds have drifted substantially, and whilst she continues to be the clear favourite, the odds available about several other contenders have been slashed, so let’s take a look at who else is in the running.


  • Theresa May needs little introduction, given that she is the current Prime Minister, and previously served as the Home Secretary between May 2010 and July 2016. She is the Member of Parliament for Maidenhead, which has always been a safe seat for the Conservative Party, and she came to power last July, following the resignation of David Cameron. Her recent decision not to take part in a live BBC television election debate with the leaders of opposing political parties was ridiculed, and that may be one of the factors that led bookmakers to extend the odds about her retaining her current position as Prime Minister.
  • Jeremy Corbyn, as leader of the Labour Party, is the bookmaker’s second-favourite to be the next Prime Minister, but he is a controversial figure and even many traditional Labour voters have expressed reluctance to support him in the coming general election. He recently received some negative press after forgetting, during an interview on Radio 4, how much it would cost to realise his free childcare policy – a blunder that the Metro described as ‘a Diane Abbott moment’. He did, however, participate in the BBC election debate, and appeared to be largely supported by the audience.
  • Boris Johnson served as the Mayor of London from May 2008 to May 2016, and is currently the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip as well as the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Johnson is something of an enigma, with a personality which is at times hugely popular and at other times hugely embarrassing, depending on the situation and on the political perspective of the observer. He is, however, far shrewder than his bumbling persona might suggest, and is perhaps no less likely to become Prime Minister than Donald Trump was to become President of the USA.
  • Amber Rudd is a name that many people heard for the first time in the BBC election debate, when she stood in for the voluntarily absent Theresa May. She assumed office as the Home Secretary in July 2016, and is the current MP for Hastings and Rye – a position that she has held since May 2010 and will be looking to maintain in the general election next Thursday. Although Rudd’s father had died just days before the BBC debate, she refused to step down from it, and many on social media platforms sympathised that she was having to take the heat instead of Theresa May.
  • Tim Farron, who is the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, became the leader of the Liberal Democrats in July 2015 after Nick Clegg stepped down from the role. He is not as popular as Clegg was in his heyday, and his ambiguous personal views on the subject of homosexuality have received more attention in the media than he would like, but he performed well in the BBC debate, and that may have helped to win him some voters.

Sports.net’s View

As suggested in the recent article about whether there will be a hung parliament after the 2017 General Election, it is perfectly possible that Labour could perform better than expected. If they defy the bookmaker’s odds and actually win, then the price currently available about Jeremy Corbyn being the Next Prime Minister would be very generous.

Another possible outcome might be a win for the Conservatives, but by a much smaller margin than was predicted when the election was first called. In that event, Theresa May’s days as party leader, and Prime Minister, would be numbered, and the relatively imperturbable Amber Rudd might be a better bet to replace her than Boris Johnson, who is viewed as a bit of a loose cannon. 

Given that the bookmakers were wrong about both Donald Trump’s chances of becoming President of the USA, and the UK voting for Brexit, it could be worth ignoring odds-on Theresa May and having an admittedly speculative bet on Labour defying the polls to make Jeremy Corbyn the next Prime Minister. 

  • Sports.net’s Top Tip: Jeremy Corbyn to be Prime Minister on 1st July – 7/2

*Please note, odds may change as the election approaches.

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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2019 02:30:24+00:00
Published By Sports.net

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