TMay planning to quit as PM on Aug 30 2019 that is if there's not a move against her earlier as there could
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) August 26, 2017
As August starts to wind up and we enter normal politics again a big story this morning is the one above in the Sunday Mirror suggesting that Theresa May has set the end of August 2019 as the time when she will cease to be Party leader and presumably Prime Minister.
This appears to be a strategy that will help her with the non trivial challenge of reporting to the Party conference at the start of October after a huge disappointment in the general election when Cameron’s hard won Conservative majority of 2015 was lost through her General Election gamble.
Whether or not setting the exit date for two years hence will be enough to put the dampers on possible leadership moves over the next few weeks we will have to see. As has been discussed here before Theresa May is helped by the fact that there is no clear alternative to her.
In many ways, though, she has been a lame duck Prime Minister since 22:01 on June 8th when the exit poll come out. Naming the date now hardens that up and undermines her authority even more.
We saw on Friday when the Foreign Secretary refused to back the prime minister’s position on immigration numbers how weak Mrs May’s position has become.
PB CON sources suggest that there is a lot of plotting going on beneath the surface at the moment by those who argue that it is vital that the party leader is in a strong enough position to deal with the intricate Brexit negotiations that lay ahead.
There are massive challenges both in Brussels and back home in Westminster where Labour can be expected to use every opportunity to undermine the passage of the Great Reform Bill. In this they can look to support from other parties including the SNP the Lib Dems and the Greens.
The recent suggestion that Labour will no longer agree to MP pairing agreements is going to make life particularly tough for party managers at Westminster.
Surprisingly there has been little movement in the Quarter 3 2019 price on Betfair Theresa May’s exit date market. I took all that was available at 3 to 1 and the price is now 2 to 1. So the betting market view at the moment is that Theresa May has a 67% chance of not going on what’s said to be her stated date.