Betting on politics: The odds on Corbyn leaving

This time last year, it was a question of when Jeremy Corbyn would step down as Labour leader, says Matthew Partridge. Now he's favourite again.


Jeremy Corbyn: tone-deaf to anti-semitism in his party
(Image credit: 2018 Getty Images)

This time last year the question was not when Jeremy Corbyn would leave, but whether he would quit before he was removed in the wake of the landslide Conservative victory everyone was predicting. Fast forward a few weeks and people were saying the same thing about Theresa May after the Conservatives failed to get a majority. Now, thanks to his tone-deaf response to the anti-Semitism crisis, Jeremy Corbyn is again the favourite to be the first of the four main party leaders to depart.

Indeed, Betfair currently puts the odds on Corbyn leaving first at 2.3 (43%). Theresa May is now only second favourite at 2.52 (40%), with Vince Cable at 4 (25%) and the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon at 8 (12.5%). It's important to point out that this isn't a very liquid market, with only £1,279 matched so far. Still, people are willing to take a limited amount of money on Corbyn, May and Sturgeon, so it is still worth considering (not to mention its contrast with Paddy Power's offer of 1/6 on May going first).

At the moment, May is clinging on, helped by the fact that she's managed to delay the big Brexit decisions and Conservative reluctance to risk causing an election. However, I think that the strains of trying to keep the Tories together will lead her to stand down at some point in the next two years, possibly after we formally leave the EU. By contrast, Corbyn's stubbornness means that he will stay on, even though a new leader would do a much better job of holding the government to account. I'd therefore take Betfair's money on May going first (I'm goingto put £2 on her myself).

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE

Get 6 issues free

Sign up to Money Morning

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Sign up
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