Boris Johnson has become the odds-on favourite with a number of British bookmakers to become the next UK Prime Minister.
The development occurs on the back of Theresa May’s not entirely unexpected announcement yesterday that she plans to stand down – sometime towards the end of July – following prolonged frustration from within both the Remain and Leave camps at her inability to move Brexit negotiations forward.
As a result, Johnson, who has positioned himself as the most palatable Brexiteer for a Tory party in disarray, is now being quoted at 10/11 [Betfred, Skybet] to be appointed as the next Tory leader.
Final Two Almost Certain for Johnson
A mere six months ago, Johnson’s star appeared to be fading as YouGov reported on an all-time low public approval ratings for the former Foreign Secretary. But he has since managed to revive his fortunes, largely due to the fact that the Conservatives – particularly its pro-Brexit wing – have been unable to serve up a more popular candidate.
The next Tory leader will be chosen through a two-stage process – the first stage will involve Conservative MP’s whittling down candidates to their preferred two front-runners. Once these have been chosen, grassroot Conservatives [i.e. those with paid membership subscriptions settled prior to the vote itself] will then be balloted to choose between the two.
With over 70% of its membership aged 45 and above – a strong pro-Brexit demographic – it appears almost certain that the next Tory leader and Prime Minister will be an unambivalent Brexiteer.
And amongst those Brexiteers whose name is currently being cited as a runner for the Tory leadership, including Dominic Raab [6/1] and Michael Gove [8/1], there is a strong argument for seeing Johnson’s odds, even at odds-on, as a value bet – if the Tory party continues to resist wider calls for a General Election to resolve the on-going crisis of Brexit.