Why I’m betting on no leadership contest in 2018.
Paddy Power’s market on whether there will be a Tory leadership contest in 2018 intrigues me. I’ve confirmed with them the precise terms of this bet. A vote of no confidence being called will not be enough, what needs to happen is for either Mrs May to lose a vote of confidence or resign and the Chairman of the 1922 committee to start accepting nominations for Mrs May’s successor.
After Chequers went pop and we saw DExEU’s midnight runners, David Davis and Steve Baker resigning around midnight, and then Boris Johnson resigning a few hours later it seemed inevitable Mrs May would be ousted this year. But she’s still in place and from that my reading of the situation is that there’s no majority for in the Parliamentary Conservative Party for ousting Mrs May.
If the most recent YouGov poll is a harbinger for the wider polling community then it will be that the Chequers Deal doesn’t mean Corbyn and that will help secure Mrs May for the rest of the year. As Mike observed the other day the prospect of Boris Johnson, the worst Foreign Secretary since Lord Halifax, succeeding Mrs May will likely reduce the chances of a leadership contest in 2018.
The only realistic way I can see a contest this year is if by October/November a no deal cliff edge Brexit is inevitable, that would likely see carnage on the financial markets and the end of Mrs May, if not the government.