Betting on politics: Corbyn's departure

Jeremy Corbyn’s standing as head of the Labour party has been badly hit by resignations. Matthew Partridge looks at how that has affected the odds on his leaving.


Time to say goodbye to Jeremy Corbyn?
(Image credit: 2016 Getty Images)

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 theseat in Stoke appears to be pretty safe).

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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 leaderin 2017.

Dr Matthew Partridge

Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.

He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.

Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.

As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.

Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri