Betting on politics: the odds on the next Conservative leader

With the contest to become the next Conservative leader heating up, punters are pouring money into the betting exchanges. Matthew Partridge weighs up the odds.

951_MW_P10_P&E_Leadsom
Andrea Leadsom

With the contest to become the next Conservative leader heating up, punters are pouring money into the betting exchanges. In all, £3.85m has been wagered on Betfair on the identity of the next Conservative leader; on Smarkets £1.8m has been bet. At the moment Boris Johnson is the clear favourite, at 1.66 (60.2%) on Betfair, followed by Jeremy Hunt on 7 (14.2%), Andrea Leadsom on 9.4 (10.6%) and Michael Gove on 17 (5.8%).

There are also a lot of subsidiary markets to consider. A total of £53,000 has already been wagered on Betfair on who will make the final two, for example. In this case the leading candidates are Boris Johnson at 1.26 (79.3%), Hunt at 1.4 (71.2%), Michael Gove at 3.7 (27.2%), Rory Stewart at 3.9 (25.6%), Andrea Leadsom (pictured) at 6 (16.7%) and Dominic Raab at 10 (10%). There has even been £9,469 bet on the number of MP ballots, with four currently the favourite at 2.66 (37.5%), followed by three (36.2%).

As I have already made tips on the identity of the winner in the summer of 2017, and conscious of my rule not to bet on the same contest twice, I'm going to have to stand aside. I think it unlikely that Leadsom could make the final two, but the odds may have shifted by the time this reaches you, with the first ballot due to start to take place on Thursday, so I can't formally recommend betting against her.

Recommended

Trading: catch this coach company
Trading

Trading: catch this coach company

Bus and coach operator National Express has expanded into promising markets abroad – and it looks cheap
28 Jan 2020
How the fear of death affects our investment processes
Investment strategy

How the fear of death affects our investment processes

Many of our investment decisions are driven by one simple fact: the knowledge that, one day, we will be dead. Here, in an extract from his new book, J…
2 Jan 2020
The good investments of the 2010s – and the bad
Stockmarkets

The good investments of the 2010s – and the bad

John Stepek takes a look back on which investments did well and which did badly in the decade that’s about to come to an end.
26 Dec 2019
Is it time to take profits on technology stocks?
Sponsored

Is it time to take profits on technology stocks?

With tech stocks continuing to slide, Dominic Frisby examines the charts and asks whether now is the time to sell.
14 Sep 2020

Most Popular

Will a second wave of Covid lead to another stockmarket crash?
Stockmarkets

Will a second wave of Covid lead to another stockmarket crash?

Can we expect to see another lockdown like in March, and what will that mean for your money? John Stepek explains.
18 Sep 2020
Here’s why you really should own at least some bitcoin
Bitcoin

Here’s why you really should own at least some bitcoin

While bitcoin is having a quiet year – at least in relative terms – its potential to become the default cash system for the internet is undiminished, …
16 Sep 2020
James Ferguson: How bad data is driving fear of a second wave of Covid-19
UK Economy

James Ferguson: How bad data is driving fear of a second wave of Covid-19

Merryn and John talk to MoneyWeek regular James Ferguson about the rise in infections in coronavirus and what the data is really telling us.
17 Sep 2020