The odds on a number of Brexit-related political stock markets have seen significant changes over the last twenty four hours, coinciding with the arrival of Boris Johnson at Number Ten.
Wisdom-of-the-Crowd platform PredictIt saw the price of a share in a Yes outcome for the implementation of Brexit prior to November 1st jump from 34 cents on the eve of the transition to 45 cents at the close of business on Johnson’s first day in power.
Smarket’s odds on a second referendum before 2020 crashed from 13.5% to 5% over roughly the same time frame. And bookmakers’ prices on a 2019 British general election have entered into odds-on territory [4/5 Ladbrokes, 4/6 William Hill] for the first time ever.
General Election Around the Corner?
Odds markets are thus, to a certain extent, sending out mixed signals on the implication’s of Johnson’s premiership for the future of Brexit – and indeed Britain itself.
But a number of analysts are concluding that – despite Johnson’s own assertions to the contrary – the hand held by the Conservative government in its negotiations with Europe has been weakened by a parliamentary vote last week which, in practice, will make it difficult for a Johnson administration – or indeed any future administration – to implement a No Deal Brexit without the approval of parliament itself.
That appears to leave Johnson with only two practical options: a Second Referendum or a General Election.
The former is, however, anathema to hard Brexiteers – Johnson’s core constituency – and likely leaves the latter as likely the only viable option open to the former London Mayor for whom Ladbrokes are now quoting odds of 5/1 to emerge as the UK’s shortest-serving Prime Minister in history.