With political uncertainty continuing to dominate British politics the chances of a general election this year have moved to a 42% chance on Betfair. This is not the highest it has ever been but, as the chart shows, it represents considerable change.
I’m not convinced. I think the new CON leader, most likely Boris, will do anything that avoids an early exit that could deprive him of what he has been aiming for for years – the keys of Number 10.
He’ll want to see how his election impacts on the Brexit party polling share which now looks like a bigger threat to the Tories than Labour and also whether the LD revival hurts the Tories more than LAB.
There’s the non-trivial matter for Johnson of defending his own not so large majority in Uxbridge.
The dark shadow of TMay’s fateful decision to go to the country in June 2017 still hangs over the party.
His big problem is going to be Brexit. Macho talk of a no deal during the leadership campaign is one thing but actually allowing such an event to happen with the catastrophic impact on many sections of the economy is another thing.
It maybe that Johnson has no choice. There are enough CON MPs who potentially could abstain or even vote with the opposition on a confidence vote to suggest that this must be a possibility.
If, as expected, the Tories lose the Brecon by-election in the week after the new leader takes over that will add to parliamentary pressure.
I’m not betting either way on an early election.