Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson’s announcement this afternoon of his intentions to suspend parliament has resulted in a series of drastic revisions for Brexit odds markets.

The move, which has provoked a strong reaction from the opposition benches, is likely to result in a No Confidence motion after the current parliamentary recess which in turn could give rise to an early General Election.

On Smarkets, the odds of a 2019 General Election now stand at 66% – having stood previously at around 62% this morning, and 35% barely seven days ago.

The odds of a No Deal Brexit, however, have also shortened – with three British bookmakers (Unibet, Betfred and 888) now offering firm evens [probability 50%] – the lowest quoted prices yet seen for that market, and representing a significant fall from odds which equated to an 11% probability at the beginning of the year.

Ambiguity Disappears

Johnson’s move confirms his determination to force through a No Deal Brexit – something that had previously been questioned in some quarters given his previous history of privileging personal ambitions over public policy.

There are also potentially much more serious implications of a No Deal Brexit for the Irish peace process which appears to have carried little weight in his political calculations.

The move has thus also consolidated the odds of Johnson emerging as the shortest serving British Prime Minister of all time – currently held by George Cannon who died after a mere 119 days into his own tenure. Johnson is quoted at 5/2 by Ladbrokes for the outcome.