A billboard from 2016 – Image source: Albert Bridge by Creative Commons Licence.
Coinciding with its founding centenary Northern Ireland finds one of its major political parties in a state of flux. The Democratic Unionist Party ousted its leader Arlene Foster with Edwin Poots tipped to take over. However, as the DUP leadership odds at online sportsbook sites in the UK like Bet365 indicate, he has competition. The Westminster leader of the DUP, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has thrown his hat into the ring too. So the party now faces a very clear choice.
The DUP has a problem. Whilst many older people in Northern Ireland have retained their sense of British identity, the young haven’t. Barely 17% of 18-24 year olds in Northern Ireland feel British. Compare that with 51% of the over 65s. Add their stances on social issues, somewhat out of step with modern youth, and they face a slow death. If they continue as they are, it’s all but inevitable. But as the DUP leadership odds demonstrate, they seem half-blind to this jeopardy.
At present, Edwin Poots is the favorite in the DUP leadership odds. That means many in the party think the best replacement for Arlene Foster is someone even more right wing. Edwin Poots is a young earth creationist, has irked the LGBT community and annoyed nationalists. He makes Arlene Foster look like the woman she pretends to be. Despite the 5/6 odds he gets at online betting sites in the UK like Bet365, he will likely accelerate the party’s trip to political oblivion.
Future Soul Of The DUP Hangs In The Balance
Fortunately, not everyone in the party is ignorant of the political realities. Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, leader of the DUP in Westminster knows the party needs to appeal to more people. He has entered the contest hoping to steer the party away from its extremist positions towards the middle of the road. Given the zeitgeist following Brexit this seems an obvious move. There’s an opportunity to expand. That’s why the DUP leadership odds peg Sir Jeffrey at around 10/11.
Odds On Next DUP Leader
- Diane Dodds – 66/1
- Ian Paisley jr – 66/1
- Christopher Stalford – 40/1
- Nigel Dodds – 40/1
- Sammy Wilson – 40/1
- Gregory Campbell – 40/1
- Gavin Robertson – 25/1
- Sir Jeffrey Donaldson – 10/11
- Edwin Poots – 5/6
- See more at bet365…
The DUP, if they plump for Poots, could well inflict a mortal wound on themselves. At the moment you can get 7/2 on a vote on Irish Unity by 2030. If the DUP don’t soften their message you can picture those prices shortening. So if you’re going to take advantage of UK gambling laws to bet on the DUP leadership election who should you back? The DUP leadership odds are so close it’s hard to know. However, the odds on the DUP suddenly liberalizing are slim at best.
Get The Best DUP Leadership Odds At Bet365
Perhaps luckily for Donaldson the religious stances on social issues will take a back seat. The DUP leadership odds are more likely to hinge on the post-Brexit situation. The DUP might have been instrumental in creating the border issues, doesn’t mean they can’t know rail against them. Poots believes so. Washing his hands of the whole Northern Ireland Protocol. Donaldson is not likely to appear quite so hypocritical. Whether that will matter or not is another question entirely.
“Our next century will be built on the politics of persuasion. This will need positive leadership, strategy and values.”
- Sir Jeffrey Donaldson – Candidate for the DUP leadership
The Free Presbyterian links drag on the party. As fewer people consider themselves religious, this will prove an existential threat. You can never bet on Irish politics freeing itself of religion entirely, but as time goes on it will fade. The DUP leadership odds on Donaldson indicate half of the party know this, the other half just isn’t sure. So if you’re bored with your usual bet on sports in the UK at Bet365 why not check out the odds on Edwin Poots or bet on Sir Jeffrey Donaldson. It’ll be one doozy of a leadership contest.
We take a look at why the DUP leadership odds are so close as Edwin Poots and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson face off for the party’s future soul.