Betting on politics: Corbyn’s departure

Jeremy Corbyn’s standing has been badly hit by the resignations that followed in the wake of his decision to whip Labour MPs to support Article 50. There are even rumours that he himself has set a date for his departure (though he himself called this “fake news”).

It’s not surprising, then, that the odds of him leaving this year have come in dramatically. Only a fortnight ago, you could have got 6/1 (14.2%) from William Hill.
On Betfair, the implied odds of him leaving before the next election have risen to 72% from a low of 20%. They are now back to levels seen last summer, when he fought a second leadership contest.

It’s very rare for the government party to gain a seat during a by-election. What’s more, Corbyn himself appears to be in two minds about whether he wants to stay on. As a result, I can’t see him surviving if Labour do indeed lose in either the Stoke or Copeland by-elections in less than a week’s time (though the
seat in Stoke appears to be pretty safe). 

However, I did underestimate the level of support he received during last autumn’s leadership election, so there’s a chance that I might be wrong again. I also need to bear in mind that I have already tipped Corbyn to go before the next election. I have also previously recommended that you resist the temptation to double down on either winning or losing bets.

Nevertheless, rules are made to be broken. So, in this case I’d suggest that you place a bet on him to go this year at Ladbrokes at 11/8 (42.1%). However, I’d advise you to split it with a bet on Labour to win the Copeland by-election at 11/4 (26.7%) with Ladbrokes to produce combined odds of (68.8%). This means that out of a hypothetical bankroll of £10, you should put £3.88 on Labour to win Copeland and £6.12 on Corbyn to be replaced as Labour leader in 2017.

Merryn

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