A big day for Sunak – now as big a threat to Starmer as he is to Johnson

A big day for Sunak – now as big a threat to Starmer as he is to Johnson

Rishi who was 250/1 when tipped on PB as next PM eight months ago

Today the big political news will be the summer statement by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, which is being dubbed “the Coronacvirus Mini Budget”. This comes after an extraordinary nine months when has emerged from relative obscurity to be one of the biggest players in UK politics. He’s betting favourite to be Johnson’s successor and second favourite, behind Starmer, for next PM.

It is hard to realise that back in November during the election campaign you could have got 250/1 at Ladbrokes on him becoming Johnson’s successor at Number 10. That bet was highlighted here in a guest slot on November 29th 2019 from longstanding PBer Philip Thompson.

The piece was largely triggered by Johnson’s decision to nominate Sunak to be the Tory party representative on the GE2019 seven way TV debate. The published odds at the the time from the bookie were 200/1 but several of those who bet found they were offered the Ladbrokes odds boost and got 250/1. I have £20 on him at that level.

On Monday in a article Stephen Bush in the Times observed:

Starmer’s inner circle know they have “a Rishi problem”. The party’s loud focus on the need for the government to protect and create jobs is partly because of the dire economic picture but also because they know that they have to find a way of discrediting and destroying the Tory party’s Plan B before it can be activated. They also want to associate Sunak, who is popular with practically everybody in the country, with Johnson, who is a polarising figure. Thankfully for Labour, they have a powerful ally in that fight: Johnson himself. He doesn’t worry about being dislodged from Downing Street by his next-door neighbour and No 10 doesn’t spend any of its time working out how to diminish its chancellor. But, as with so many party leaders before him, Johnson’s interests are best served by associating himself with the most popular member of his party, and that’s Sunak.

That popularity for Sunak is seen in poll after poll. The latest ratings from YouGov had the Chancellor with a net rating of plus 38% when asked the “good job/bad job” question. That is miles ahead of both Johnson and Starmer.

Mike Smithson

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