It’s a quiet time at the moment on the political betting scene, so I’m trying to find some value on more long-term bets.
I have been looking at the next Prime Minister betting. There are two main calculations for me – firstly that the Conservative Party do not, at any cost, want another election any time soon. Neither do the DUP – and probably not the SNP either. Therefore I am discounting an early election…and assuming one in 2021 or 2022.
The second calculation is that Theresa May will not survive until then. She will likely survive for a bit, at least until the Brexiteers get their agenda voted through parliament…assuming Brexit doesn’t blow off course.
There are quite a few assumptions there, but my educated guess is that Theresa May will step down of her own accord, after the Brexit negotiations are complete and parliament has ratified it.
This means that the next Prime Minister is highly likely to be a Conservative so I’d rather be “investing” in the Next Prime Minister market than the lower odds of the Next Conservative Leader market.
Whoever wins will need to bridge the leave/remain divide within the party – which is no easy task.
This means ruling out Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson (the former mainly due to the ridiculously low odds). Both popular with a good portion of the membership, but Boris is a liability and JRM’s anti-abortion views could well scupper any run.
I think Ruth Davidson is very capable Prime Minister material – though she is intending on running for Holyrood elections in 2021, and I expect Theresa May will be replaced before then.
Leadsome and Hammond are both too associated with their associated Brexit positions to be able to win a contest.
There are two names though that I feel bridge the gap.
We know Michael Gove is exceedingly ambitious – and has been a capable minister within the Conservative Party. A Brexiteer, for sure – yet does command enough respect throughout the party to make him a possible runner…and winner. The best odds at the moment are 20/1 – available with Betfred.
However, the real bargain in the list is Jeremy Hunt at 33/1. A recent Brexit convert (a la Theresa May), a very competent minister – someone who has had to deal with some difficult situations yet is still in his job – importantly with no real enemies in the Conservative Party. Does he have leadership qualities? I think so. Certainly more than May and Leadsome had in the last contest – and easily more balls than Boris.
So I’ve had a small bet on Michael Gove at 20/1 and a fairly large bet on Jeremy Hunt at 33/1. Both with Betfred.