Gove still heading the TMay successor betting as we get closer to the Article 50 deadline

Gove still heading the TMay successor betting as we get closer to the Article 50 deadline

But it really could be just about anyone

David Herdson’s header this morning about the LAB leadership is a reminder that we haven’t looked at the TMay successor betting for some time. Given that a 2019 Conservative leadership contest is much more likely than a LAB one then we should really keep an eye on it.

The chart shows the extraordinary rise in early January of Michael Gove who has now established himself with a solid lead, in the betting at least. Boris Johnson the man who signed up Lynton Crosby to run his leadership campaign, has found it a bit of a struggle.

    The big picture, though, is that the favourite is being rated by punters as only a 16% chance which doesn’t suggest much confidence in the betting markets. In the immediate aftermath of TMay losing the Tory majority in June 2017 Johnson touched 30% in the betting.

Given that the final decision is made by Conservative members who will have a choice of just two selected for them by the Conservative parliamentary party I cannot see both Gove and Johnson occupying those two slots. I also think that the ex-mayor is going to struggle more with Conservative MPs in the knockout process that precedes the membership ballot stage.

We could be fairly close from a contest. My guess is that Theresa May will be there until after Brexit but then after that anything can happen even in spite of the fact that she won a theoretical reprieve by winning the confidence vote of MPs Before Christmas. That should give her 12 months immunity but you see heavy pressure being put on her post-brexit to retire. The Tories want someone who can take on Corbyn and the memory of the PM’s 2017 campaign still lingers.

Looking at the top seven in the betting I get a sense that the eventual next Conservative leader is not listed amongst those rated at 3% or above on the Betfair exchange.

Mike Smithson

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