Let's take a look at the various Brexit-related bets available in the market, in the light of the recent parliamentary vote. On Smarkets, punters have wagered £112,305 on the date which the UK will officially leave the EU. As you'd expect, an exit by the end of April is the favourite, but you can still get 2.9 (34.4%) on that date. Interestingly, the next favourite is not before 2021 at 4.3 (23.2%), suggesting that punters think there's a good chance Brexit might not happen.
Still, if the major betting exchanges aren't confident Brexit will occur on schedule, punters are much more certain that Theresa May's position is secure, at least for the next few weeks. There has been a flurry of activity on whether the prime minister will leave office before Brexit in the past few days, with £175,800 bet on Betfair alone. However, after briefly becoming favourite to leave office first, the odds are 1.46 (68.4%) on her staying in Downing Street until Brexit is complete.
Interestingly, when May does leave, Michael Gove's vocal support for the Withdrawal Agreement hasn't done him any harm, since he is now the favourite on Betfair to replace her. But it's a very fragmented field, with Gove at 6 (16.7%), Boris Johnson at 7.6 (13.2%), Sajid Javid at 9.8 (10.2%) and Dominic Raab at 10.5 (9.7%). The days when Jacob Rees-Mogg was considered the favourite for the Conservative leadership are well and truly over however the MP for North East Somerset is now out in eighth place at 32 (3.1%).
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
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