OUR own Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) takes a look at a political market for us with the Euro Elections on the horizon.
Theresa May Exit | 2019
Remember Steve Kean? The bald Scottish guy who managed Blackburn at the start of the decade? A man who was vilified from Day 1 by the fanbase after the controversial sacking of his predecessor Sam Allardyce? You do, don't you.
When I think of Kean I think of a man who hung on by his fingertips for weeks, months and nearly years (he lasted 21 months did Steve). Kean's natural successor in refusing to budge at all costs is our current Prime Minister, Theresa May.
The Maybot has pissed all over Kean though as she's been at the helm now for almost three years. The last two years of that spell have been on political death row after a gamble went disastrously wrong in 2017 when she called a General Election and saw her majority wiped out. Political commentators gave her days to survive, yet remarkably 23 months later she's still at the helm. For now.
I've lost count of the number of times I've turned round to my wife and earnestly claimed that May will be gone by the time the bread in our kitchen turns mouldy. I've anticipated incorrectly a number of times. However this time it feels on. And the odds are shrinking. Quickly.
On Tuesday I was staggered to see she was 7/1 to go in June. Embarrassingly I got caught up in other stuff (dancing to the new Vampire Weekend record, praying for Steve Clarke to save Scotland) and forgot to place the bet.
I logged back in on Thursday and was gutted to see the odds were now 4/1. Still value for me, and there were no distractions this time as the money went down. As I type, the odds are now 21/10. A massive shift in just 72 hours. But why?
To put it bluntly, the Tories have had enough. May has been on the slide for two years and the wave of feeling against her is now reaching tsunami levels. The cabinet resignations post-Chequers last summer rocked her but it was her handshake with the EU in November that really started to destabilise her.
Her Withdrawal Agreement deal has seen her shrouded in all-time Commons infamy. It's a deal that's the ultimate stinker, uniting opposite souls like Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn to vote against it. A deal that has produced the biggest and 4th biggest ever government defeats in the Commons. Incredible!
As well as those historic shamings, she's also faced a vote of confidence in her leadership where 117 of her MP's wanted her out.
That December vote means of course that she can't be challenged again till next Christmas so she's safe yeah? Not for me. For starters, the Tories are discussing changing the rules so she can be challenged again sooner. But I don't think it will come to that.
Quite simply, the Tories are facing their worst ever national election result in next week's Euro Elections. Polling at 24% just six weeks ago, they're now edging close to a single figure number. The prospect of them finishing in FIFTH place behind the Brexit Party, Labour, Lib Dems and the Greens is a real one. In footballing terms it feels like Celtic finishing in the bottom half of the Scottish Premiership. It is unsustainable.
The alarm bells are now wailing at CCHQ. The 1922 Committee (the unseen backbench machine who call the Tory shots) have called Mrs May up to their den and demanded she sets an exit day. Currently unspecified, she'd love to hang on to the autumn but I very much doubt they will allow her that luxury.
Thursday could be her last rites. If the Tories have a disaster at the ballot box she simply has to go quickly. Enough is enough. Margaret Thatcher spoke of the men in grey suits who ordered her out in 1990, and 29 years on those figures of death will reappear outside May's door offering no salvation. Her political damage far outweighs the Iron Lady's in November 1990.
I've backed June as her month of exit at 4/1 but there's still some 21/10 with Paddy Power. I've also backed May at 10/1. The results are not likely to be widely known until next Sunday 26th but if they're ghastly surely there's a chance of her resigning the following week? I think so.
May has shown sensational stoicism and grit over the last two years but surely now she's running out of road? The end is nigh for Theresa. Surely.
Theresa May Exit – June 2019 (21/10 Paddy Power)
Theresa May Exit – May 2019 (10/1 Paddy Power)