When Boris Johnson became prime minister this summer, his place in the history books would have been preying on his mind. If the bookmakers are to be believed, he could well go down in history as the prime minister with the shortest term in office.
Originally, when the bookies started taking bets on his time in office you could get 3/1 (25%) on him setting a new record for brevity. Now the best that you can get is evens (50%) with Ladbrokes.
At the time of writing, Johnson has been in office for 77 days, which is 42 days less than the 119 day-stint by George Canning, our shortest-serving prime minister. He succeeded Lord Liverpool in April 1827 before dying in August of the same year.
Subscribe to MoneyWeek
Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE
This means that Johnson has to survive for just six more weeks in order to have lasted longer than Canning. Thanks to the requirement of the fixed- term Parliament act, there probably isn't enough time for him for call an election that he might end up losing.
This leaves the possibility of Johnson being removed by a vote of confidence. Indeed, there is a very real prospect that he could prompt Parliament into action by refusing to send a letter to the EU requesting an extension.
However, my guess is that he will back down (or even try to push through May's original deal with a few tweaks and renamings).
In any case, I'd put the chances of him being removed by the deadline at roughly 2/1 (33%), so I don't think that the odds available on him going offer any value.
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
House prices are falling in London but how does it compare to the rest of the UK?
Advice The capital remains the most expensive part of the UK to buy a property, but it isn’t being as badly hit by the housing market slump. Where are London house prices heading?
By Marc Shoffman Published
Will a Santa Rally provide festive cheer for investors this year?
News Equities often get a seasonal boost during December - will there be a Santa Rally in 2023?
By Marc Shoffman Published