BETTING analyst Ben Levene (@benlevene96) has run the rule over the next Conservative Party leader market and unearthed an angle of attack.
Next Conservative Party Leader Betting:
Brexit has been on the political agenda since the 2016 referendum and unless it’s dealt with sooner rather than later, the pressure will continue to mount on Theresa May. The odds suggest there is a 70% chance she's replaced by the end of 2019.
Earlier this week it was reported that around 50 Conservative MPs had met to discuss removing the Prime Minister. The proposed Chequers plan involving a ‘common rulebook’ agreement with the EU has angered many, including Government ministers who are rumoured to have liaised with the European Research Group.
Whilst Jacob Rees-Mogg has publicly emphasised his issue is with the policy and not the person, Boris Johnson has been less coy on his leadership ambitions.
System doesn't suit Boris
Since resigning as Foreign Secretary, Johnson has launched numerous digs at May and her approach to Brexit. Johnson has made no secret of his drive for leadership in the past. Performing well in polls amongst Conservative members, Johnson is as short as 3/1 to be the next Tory leader, with 9/2 (Bet365) available.
For May to be removed from her role, 15% of Tory MPs, so 48, must write a letter of no confidence to the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee chairman, Graham Brady. A vote would then ensure amongst Tory MPs, with May requiring at least half (159) of votes to remain in power.
If a leadership contest was to come to fruition, things might not be so clear cut for Johnson. After all, he was the front-runner in 2016 when David Cameron resigned and yet didn’t prevail.
The first stage of the contest sees Conservative MPs select two candidates. This pair are then voted on by party members.
Johnson is not overly popular amongst fellow parliamentarians and so the first stage of the leadership process could prove tricky. Should he proceed through this, it’s difficult to see him not winning amongst the public party members.
Gove is tempting
Back in 2016, Michael Gove dampened Boris’s leadership campaign when proverbially throwing him under the bus. Gove proved the most popular male candidate and although he admitted the leadership attempt was a ‘mistake’ he remains popular amongst fellow MPs.
Back in April, it was reported that Gove had raised £31,000 in nine-months, 22 times higher than the average, leaving in him a strong position to put together a campaign should an opportunity arise.
Whilst 8/1 about the former Chief Whip is tempting, running against Boris could prove counter-productive and just yesterday Gove refused to rule serving in a Johnson government, which might indicate he’s not planning to throw his name in the hat.
Javid fits the bill
Sajid Javid is an MP whose stock is on the rise. The current Home Secretary helped Brexiteers block May’s customs compromise earlier this year and just last week suggested a no deal Brexit could lead to civil disorder.
A BAME candidate, Javid was ranked as Britain’s most influential Asian back in 2014 and when appointed Home Secretary earlier this year became the first UK politician of Asian descent hold a position in one of the Great Offices of State. Moreover, with anti-Semitism currently a talking point, there are few who speak out on the issue as much as Javid.
He fits the bill and at 6/1 (Coral) I’m backing Sajid Javid to become Britain’s first ethnic minority leader of a major political party.
Next Conservative Party Leader – Sajid Javid (6/1 Coral)