Betting on politics: May’s Brexit deal

Theresa May © Getty images
Can she get her deal through parliament?

At the moment neither punters nor the bookies are particularly optimistic about the chances of Theresa May’s Brexit deal managing to get through the House of Commons. Paddy Power is the only one bothering to offer a bet on the 11 December vote in parliament, and it is quoting 1/5 (83%) on it being rejected by parliament and 3/1 (25%) on it being approved. Betfair and Smarkets seem to be giving an almost even chance that we’ll have left the European Union by the planned date of 29 March, with a slight advantage to leave.

The betting markets on May’s departure date don’t make good news for the prime minister, either, as they aren’t particularly optimistic about her chances of surviving in Downing Street beyond next year. Smarkets has the most liquid market with £381,174 traded and it has a near even price of 2.02 (49.5%) on her leaving Downing Street in 2019. Other options are 3.6 (27.78%) on this year, 11.5 (8.7%) on 2020, 18 (5.56%) on 2021, 16 (6.25%) on 2022, and 19.5 (5.1%) on 2023 or later.

If May does go, betting markets are unsure about who will succeed her as leader of the Conservative Party. According to Betfair the favourite is Boris Johnson at 8.4 (11.9%). Sajid Javid is on 9.2 (10.8%), Michael Gove on 9.6 (10.4%), Dominic Raab 9.8 (10.2%) and Jeremy Hunt at 10 (10%). In contrast, “Moggmentum” seems to have stalled, with the price on one-time front runner Jacob Rees-Mogg drifting out to 24 (4.1%).