Conservative Candidates

 

The odds of Boris Johnson replacing Theresa May as the next  British Prime Minister have plummeted to an all-time low of 4/9 today, with most British bookmakers having adjusted from a quote of 4/6 less than forty-eight hours ago.

The fall in odds equates to a corresponding jump in probability from 60% to 69% of a Johnson premiership, and appears to be the direct result of a change implemented by the Conservative party in relation to its leadership contest rules.

Those changes, which require that a leadership contender now be formally endorsed by at least eight sitting Conservative MPs, will effectively cull the field of candidates from eleven to five, according to analysts.

That leaves Johnson in the race with the decidedly uncharismatic figures of Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt – the two other major front-runners – as well as Dominic Raab and Andrea Leadsom.

Stars Aligning?

This week’s development is the latest in a series of encouraging signs for the former Foreign Secretary who entered into odds-on territory for the premiership for the first time in late May.

Gove is currently struggling to media-manage revelations that he took cocaine prior to his move into politics – which some suggest he has been trying to exploit for some much-needed street credibility.

And Hunt has aroused some further negative coverage this week after reactions to his controversial claim in an article for Politico that it would be “morally bankrupt” for the UK to end its arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Johnson’s candidacy has largely been helped, in other words, by a dearth of competition in the field. And with news emerging today that the High Court has thrown out a petition to pursue him for alleged claims on the benefits of Brexit prior to the referendum of 2016, the former Mayor of London appears to be inching yet closer towards a Summer move to Downing Street.