Boris Johnson’s premiership is ‘on the ropes’ as the PM faces mounting pressure from his party, the media and public to confess that he broke COVID national lockdown rules by attending a ‘bring your own booze’ party at Number 10 last May.
Monitoring Down Street developments, Smarkets Politics cites that PM Johnson has reached his shortest price of 1.70 (58% chance) of leaving office in 2022.
Attacks on Johnson’s management of the Party and leadership conduct have grown since December following the Conservative’s by-election loss of stronghold constituency North Shropshire to the Liberal Democrats.
Smarkets Head of Political Markets, Matthew Shaddick, said: “Johnson’s position seemed to have been improving since the turn of the year but the latest round of partygate stories has seen his chance of seeing out the year as PM drop back down to the lows seen after the Tories’ loss in North Shropshire last month”.
As UK media reports that Senior Conservatives are no longer willing to back the scandal ridden PM, speculation mounts as to whether Johnson will be forced to resign in the coming days/weeks.
Smarkets states that the likelihood of Johnson being ousted by the end of March has shot up from 5% to 25% (market price 4.0) as the prospect of Johnson leading the Tories in the next election sinks to 35% (2.74).
The embattled leader faces a crucial period to win back the Tory dressing room, beginning with today’s PMQs at Commons as he faces a probing of his behaviour by opposition leaders.
Irrespective of the PMs troubles, Smarkets cites that leadership contenders have yet to come to the forefront as Chancellor Rishi Sunak remains priced at 3.30 (30%) to become next PM – ahead of nearest rival Foreign Secretary Lizz Truss who is rated at 20% chance (5.2).
Though Boris stumbles from controversy-to-controversy, party supporters are reported to have lost their shine on Sunak who pushed through the UK’s highest tax budget since the 1950s and remain unsure on the leadership capabilities of Truss.
As it stands, Smarkets indicates that the latest price on the next general election indicates a 50% chance of a hung parliament, with a Tory majority having fallen to just 35%.
“The race to succeed Johnson as Tory leader now has two clear frontrunners in Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss. Not much more than a year ago, Truss was an 80/1 chance but Smarkets users now make the Foreign Secretary around a 20% chance of taking over at the top.” Shaddick commented on contenders.
Entering 2022, Smarkets anticipates political hijinks and high wagers as “with the Conservatives now trailing in the polls, the latest market prices on the next general election suggest there is a 50% chance of a hung parliament. The Conservatives remain favourites to win most seats at 60% but the prospect of them retaining a majority has fallen from 50% last summer to just 35% today.”