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WORLD | 07-07-2022 13:14

The front-runners to replace Boris Johnson as Britain's next prime minister

Ben Wallace, Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt lead the early betting as punters place wagers over the identity of Britain's next leader.

Boris Johnson has resigned as leader of the Conservative Party following a flurry of cabinet resignations, and betting firms are readying themselves for the race to succeed him. 

Johnson will stay on as caretaker prime minister until a new leader is appointed, with a timetable for the leadership contest set to be announced next week. Gambling websites offer clues about what happens next.


Front-runners

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, seen to have performed competently in Britain’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is the favourite to succeed Johnson according to Sky Bet, which will pay out 2/1 on Wallace to be the next Tory leader. Rishi Sunak is the platform’s second most likely candidate following his resignation as chancellor of the exchequer.

Other sites have Wallace’s odds much lower –  he’s 6/1 at 888 Sport, according to Oddschecker.

Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt, viewed in the party as having strong pro-Brexit credentials, charisma and good leadership qualities, is third-favourite to succeed Johnson at odds of 7/1 on Sky. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former Health Secretary Sajid Javid make up the rest of Sky Bet’s top five contenders.

Outsiders for the job include Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab and former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, both given odds of 14/1. New Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi and Tory politician Tom Tugendhat are also in the mix.

Despite mounting speculation of a general election this year, bookies suggest a national vote is more likely to happen in 2023 or later.

Odds from betting on politics should be taken with a pinch of salt. In market terms, they reflect the views of retail investors, rather than professionals who spend their lives analysing these things. Still, they give strong clues about which politicians could throw their hats into the ring when the Tory leadership contest starts.
 

by Damian Shepherd, Bloomberg

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