A big reason TMay is defying political gravity is because of the possible alternatives

A big reason TMay is defying political gravity is because of the possible alternatives

Last year my biggest political betting loss was on Theresa May not surviving. Like many others after her disappointing GE2017 outcome I was ready to write off her chances of staying at number 10.

Well 18 months on she is still there and I now approach the end of the year with completely the opposite betting position. My money is on the Prime Minister being the Prime Minister and Tory leader at the end of the year.

This is a market which as seen huge amount of turbulence in the last few days as the political world has digested the draft agreement on Brexit. At one stage on Friday Betfair had her as a 62% chance to be out this year. As I write this post that is now below 30% and could ease even further as we get closer to the year end.

    Whatever Moggsy and the ERG gang might hope I don’t think there is the stomach within the parliamentary Conservative Party for a leadership challenge at this crucial stage.

Even if 48 letters are received by Graham Brady then it still has to come to a vote and it is possible that the detractors would struggle to secure the support of 150 plus MPs which will be required for TMay to be ousted as CON leader.

The above ComRes/Sunday Express polling published yesterday highlights what is proving to be TMay’s firewall – the lack of a consensus amongst voters about a likely successor. All four names polled have big negative figures. If there is a confidence vote then many CON MPs are likely to be concerned that they could be providing the mechanism for someone they don’t want becoming leader and PM.

The other factor that I believe is constraining Tory MPs is that if there was a confidence vote this week that Mrs May won then she would be guaranteed to be able to stay in post free from confidence challenges until November 2019.

The argument for holding their fire until after Brexit in March next year is quite persuasive.

Mike Smithson

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