Betting on politics: the futures of May and Corbyn

Matthew Partridge finds out who the betting market tips to be the next leaders of the Tories and Labour.


Keir Starmer is a favourite to take over from Jeremy Corbyn
(Image credit: 2017 Getty Images)

With the Labour and Conservative Party conferences this month heralding a return to regular politics, it's a good time to look at what the main UK betting markets are saying about the future of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn.

More than £290,000 has been traded on May's exit date on Smarkets, and next year is the clear favourite at 1.88 (53.1%), followed by this year at 5.7 (17.5%). Next year is also the favourite date for Corbyn to stand down as well, though the odds are much longer at 3.95 (25.3%).

If May departs, Boris Johnson seems favourite to take over as Conservative leader, with Smarkets putting the former foreign secretary at 6 (16.7%). In second place is Sajid Javid at 7.2 (13.9%), followed by Jacob Rees-Mogg at 10.5 (9.5%), Michael Gove at 11 (9.1%), Dominic Raab at 11 (9.1%) and Jeremy Hunt at 11.5 (8.6%).

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On the opposition benches, Betfair has shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry as the favourite at 8.5 (11.8%). Other strong contenders are John McDonnell at 11.5 (8.7%), Keir Starmer at 13 (7.7%) and Angela Rayner at 16 (6.3%).

Punters seem to think the current parliament will either run its full length or be dissolved next year. Smarkets has 2022 as the favourite date for the next general election at 2.7 (38.5%), followed by 2019 at 3.05 (32.7%), 2020 at 5.8 (17.2%) and 2021 at 9.4 (10.6%). If you want to bet on an election this year you can still get 12.5 (8%), although I wouldn't recommend those odds.

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