The favourites for next Tory leader aren’t as we expected just hours ago, but one of them will likely be the new Conservative leader and probably the next Prime Miniser.
It’s hard to keep up with British politics these days. Just a week after the predictions of bet on sports in the EU were proved to be wrong and more than 50% of Britain voted to leave the EU, the ramifications keep coming. The economy is crashing and the Labour party is in disarray.
Many saw the one certain consequence of Brexit being the ascension of Boris Johnson to Prime Minister. However, this morning his fellow Leave campaigner Michael Gove – who had previously claimed he wasn’t interested (or qualified) in becoming leader– announced that he would in fact be a candidate. And then, shockingly, Boris Johnson decided not to run. This leaves five candidates remaining; here are the favourites for next Tory leader.
Theresa May: 8/15 @ 32Red Sportsbook
According to online sportsbooks in the UK, May is now the clear favourite for the conservative leadership. The long term home secretary announced her campaign with a speech emphasizing her competence, experience and trustworthiness. While she supported Remain, she was noticeably quiet during the campaign; many have speculated that the next leader should be a Leave supporter, but her “reluctant remain” position may be sufficient to unite the party. She has decided that restrictions on freedom of movement are non-negotiable, in effect supporting the Leave position. Her unwillingness to hold a snap general election may endear her further to Tory voters. At this stage, she’s the candidate to beat.
Michael Gove: 10/3 @ Bet365 Sportsbook
With the backing of Rupert Murdoch (owner of the Sun, the Times, and more) and Paul Dacre (editor of the Daily Mail) Gove should not be underestimated. It is this media support that may have persuaded him to betray Boris Johnson and run himself. He was also considered to have rather betrayed his old friend David Cameron by campaigning to leave the EU. Gove, Scottish and a rare member of Cameron’s friendship group who didn’t attend Eton, was previously an unpopular education secretary – famous for wanting every British school to be “above average” – and then justice secretary. He had on many occasions claimed he was uninterested in becoming Prime Minister, but with the right-wing media behind him he could give May strong competition.
Andrea Leadsom: 9/2 @ Betway Sports
While some have doubted Gove’s complete commitment to the UK exiting the EU, the same cannot be said for Andrea Leadsom, the Energy minister and a vocal advocate for Leave. During the campaign she earned a reputation as a competent and convincing speaker. She is to the right of the party, strongly supporting the Government’s unsuccessful austerity policies. She is a critic of immigration, and will hope to secure the votes of the Tory’s traditional base. If the favourites for next Tory leader, May and Gove, are seen to embrace some vestige of EU integration, Leadsom could pounce.
Stephen Crabb: 22/1 @ Betfair Sportsbook
Crabb, the secretary of state for work and pensions, is the youngest and most media-friendly candidate. He is Welsh, though born in Scotland, and was the first Conservative cabinet minister in over a century to have a beard. He represents the idea of working class conservatism, being raised on a council estate but going on to success in business. He has the support of Sajid Javid, another Tory considered a rising star, who also succeeded in business despite not going to Eton. Crabb’s youth and eagerness to relight the torch of “compassionate Conservatism” may lead to some popularity among party members who could be concerned about the electability of the other candidates. However, he has been accused of holding anti-LGBT views, and espousing belief that there is a “gay cure”; he denies this, though he did vote against marriage equality.
Liam Fox: 40/1 @ Paddy Power
The most surprising candidate is Liam Fox, the former defence secretary who was forced in resign in disgrace when it was revealed that he gave his best friend access undeclared access to the department of defence. However, he is well funded and has grassroots support. He was a vocal supporter of leave and a strong believer in right-wing economics. His controversies may be problematic for his electability, but members may support his for the positions he holds. While not among the favourites for next Tory leader, Fox may be hoping for enough success that he is allowed back to cabinet. If he were to win with his odds,
UK gambling news would have another example of the weak predictive power of political betting markets.