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Another day, another party

Just as Betfair markets were beginning to regain confidence in Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister is mired in another crisis. Actually, its the same crisis from December that evidently hasn’t gone away.

Rather, ‘Partygate‘ has escalated after ITV News revealed an e-mail confirming that a party – attended by Johnson and his wife, Carrie – took place in the garden of 10 Downing Street, on May 20th, 2020. That was in the middle of the first lockdown, less than an hour after Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden ordered the public to meet no more than one person outside their household.

Predictably, social media was scathing with condemnation from across the spectrum. There’s a real sense of genuine crisis of confidence in anything the government or Prime Minister says.

The immediate effect on Betfair was a surge of cash on Johnson to leave office in 2022. Last night he was matched at around 1.84/5 to go in 2022 – markedly shorter than the 3.02/1 odds around which 2022 had been trading. However, as in December, there has been pushback this morning and those odds are back out to 2.1411/10 at the time of writing. Evidently, many believe the PM retains his ‘Teflon’ qualities.

Here’s the current range of odds. If you think a resignation, or sacking by Tory MPs, is imminent, 9.28/1 is available about an exit prior to March 31st. April-June is a 6.411/2 chance, with anything after June 2022 rated 75% likely at 1.341/3. Still not much belief he’ll fall on his sword any time soon, then.

Any time in 2022 is a 2.1411/10 chance. 2023 is at 6.25/1 while anything after that is out to 2.68/5. Regarding our ‘Boris Johnson Special’ market, the PM is odds-on at 1.784/5 to still be in post for the Conservative Party Conference, which is currently scheduled for 2nd October.

My view? I have been backing 2022 and a pre-2024 exit for a year now and keep pressing up. I think Johnson has become a drag on Tory support and, if MPs took time to realise that, recent events should make it clear.

I think the pushback in the market is due to three factors. First, precedent and process. PMs with big majorities are rarely removed. Second, a wrong-headed belief that the Tory base still love him. There is ample evidence to the contrary in members’ polls including the latest from Sunday.

Finally, I suspect there is an element of delusion among Tory supporters and commentators. That somehow Johnson will be able to ‘reset’ the narrative with a policy launch or big speech. Those days are long gone in my view.

Bet here:

Boris Johnson Exit Date (Year)

Boris Johnson Exit Date (3-monthly)

Boris Johnson Special (Conference)

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