Betting on politics: how long has Boris Johnson got as PM?

Boris Johnson could well go down in history as the prime minister with the shortest term in office. Matthew Partridge looks at the odds.

Boris Johnson © Peter Summers/Getty Images

Boris Johnson © Peter Summers/Getty Images

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.

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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.

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.




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