A little under seven months ago, Wisdom-of-the-Crowds probability pricing platform Smarkets was quoting odds as high as 117-1 for Nigel Farage to become the United Kingdom’s next Prime Minister.
Today, as Farage’s newly created Brexit Party heads into the upcoming European elections of May 23 as odds-on favourites at 4/7 to win the highest number of seats in the UK, Smarkets is pricing those same odds at 20-1.
Added to that, both Paddy Power and Betfair have created new markets in which Farage is now quoted at an astonishing 3/1 to become the UK’s Prime Minister no later than 2025.
Whilst the outcome of the Brexit referendum in 2016 may have consolidated Farage’s political star as an outside renegade shaking up both the mainstream and the status quo, it has been the Conservative Party’s inability to successfully navigate the post-referendum waters that could now be set to bring the ex-UKIP leader into the frame as the defining force on the British political landscape.
With confirmation late yesterday evening that the Brexit Party is planning to stand in the next UK General Election, it now appears inevitable that Farage’s political fortunes are inimically – and inversely – tied up with those of the Tory Party.
If the Conservatives do implode as a political force in the UK – an outcome that has been raised by the prospect of a Conservative grassroots challenge to Theresa May’s current tenure as Prime Minister and/or the calling of a snap General Election in 2019 – then the likely beneficiary will be Farage and the new Brexit Party, according to political analysts.
And such a move could result in a further fall in the real-time trading prices of markets which track the odds of a Farage premiership. However, at the time of writing, Jeremy Corbyn remains outright favourite at 7/2 with William Hill to succeed May whilst Boris Johnson is quoted at 9/2. Whether those odds move significantly will depend on the outcome of the European elections and specifically the number of seats that the Brexit Party wins from the leading parties.