Whilst Brexit has been, to speak mildly of the matter, a roller-coaster ride of confusion and uncertainty for two years now, the last two days have arguably been the most dramatic yet witnessed.
With a parliamentary vote on Tuesday that rejected Theresa May’s current deal with the EU, followed by a further vote on Wednesday in which MP’s rejected accommodation of a No Deal scenario, the saga surrounding Brexit is now almost exclusively focused on whether or not an extension to Article 50 can and will be enacted.
And if the betting public can serve as a litmus test on the outcome – which it often does – the answer is a resounding YES, according to the latest Brexit trading data from Wisdom-of-the-Crowd platform Smarkets on the outcome.
If at first …
According to the BBC, Theresa May is planning to submit her current deal for a third time to parliament tomorrow – despite two prior defeats – in the desperate hope that the prospect of a No Deal crash out in fifteen days’ time will be enough to win over a highly unlikely majority.
However, bettors are unconvinced – 23% of Smarkets’ traders see the Brexit process extending beyond 2021, 20% believe that the UK’s eventual exit will occur at some point 2020, whilst only 11% believe that an exit will be actioned by the end of next month.
In the meantime, however, “the implied chance of a second in/out referendum this year has remained steady,” according to Smarkets spokesman Sarbjit Bakhshi – the only Brexit betting market to do so as confusion continues to dominate the political landscape in what has become the UK’s greatest constitutional crisis in living memory.
According to the aggregated analysis of Smarkets’ traders, there is approximately a 25% chance of a second referendum before year-end 2020, although Irish bookmaker Paddy Power is much more bullish on the possibility, offering odds of 5/2 [implied probability of 28%] before 2019 instead.
And those prices appear to be reflecting a wider swing within betting circles, with over 2/3 of bettors now backing a second referendum, according to the odds aggregation site Odds Checker.