SBC Bookies Corner – Boris comes into play…

A new chapter for UK politics begins as Boris Johnson takes over at Number 10, given the mandate of delivering Brexit by Halloween (31 October). SBC gets bookmakers first reactions on what awaits punters and markets with regards to ‘PM Bojo’…

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Mat Shaddick – Ladbrokes

SBC: Winning 66% of the Tory membership vote, Boris Johnson fulfils his manifest destiny by becoming new UK PM. Should punters be happy and what does the immediate future hold for PM Bojo?

Matt Shaddick (Head of Ladbrokes Politics): Only a year ago, Boris Johnson was rated a 10/1 shot to win the leadership, so there will be a few happy punters out there. As it happens, Hunt would have been a very costly result for us, so it hasn’t worked out too badly.

Ladbrokes are quoting 5/1 that Johnson is the shortest-serving PM in history – he needs to get to mid-November to avoid the current record of 119 days held by George Canning. Given the Brexit deadline of October 31st and the very real chance of an early general election, he’s by no means certain to make it that far.

Plenty of well-informed customers are backing a 2019 general election at 11/10, with October rated the most likely option at 11/4. There has been a bit of interest in the 3/1 about a Tory majority; certainly, some people think Johnson will have a positive effect on the party’s fortunes.

Sarbjit Bakhshi – Smarkets

SBC: Boris has exactly 100-days to negotiate EU-withdrawal terms, can he deliver any ‘meaningful concessions’ or should we anticipate Bojo’s ‘Theresa Fudge deal’ a la carte?

Sarbjit Bakhshi (Head of Politics Smarkets): The odds of a no-deal Brexit in 2019 have remained steady at 29% (https://smarkets.com/event/2100915) since Boris was confirmed as Theresa May’s successor, implying that his leadership of the party has not changed the fundamentals of the situation.

Despite pledging that the UK will leave the EU on the 31st of October, our market shows that either the UK won’t leave or will leave with a deal. With no bargaining chips left, it looks like another extension or revocation is the more likely result.

Katie Baylis – Betfair

SBC: As a new PM trying to unite a divided party and nation, who will Bojo appoint as his trusted cabinet Consiglieres… who makes the Team Boris cut? 

Katie Baylis (UK/EURO PR Betfair): “Boris Johnson finally has the top job and now all eyes are on who his righthand men and women will be. Sajid Javid is the big favourite at 1/6 to move into the Chancellor role with Liz Truss at 8/1, while we make Jacob Rees Mogg the current 2/1 favourite for Foreign Secretary although with rumours Boris wants Penny Mordaunt to move in and take over from Jeremy Hunt her odds of 4/1 could shorten across the day. Priti Patel at 2/1 looks to be the front runner for Home Secretary in what is expected to be a major shakeup across the board.

Joe Lee – Paddy Power

SBC: Surely bookmakers are excited at the prospect of loud, error-prone, boisterous, blonde political leader disrupting political betting…. (Hang on we already have that market!)… 

Joe Lee (Head of Trump Betting @ Paddy Power): Despite some of the uncanny similarities they share on the hair and foot in mouth front, we still believe that it’ll be a while before BoJo reaches the heady heights of Trump Betting; so we’ll hold off sticking an advertisement for a Head of BoJo betting on the PP LinkedIn account for now.

The biggest issue BoJo faces in getting on a par with Trump is clearly on the social media front – he doesn’t Tweet enough! This is clearly the way Trump has gotten ahead of all other world leaders and into the “hearts” of his adoring fans.

We’ve kicked off some Boris betting specials in recent days but the public still haven’t engaged as much to date as we would have seen on the Trump front – maybe we’ll have to wait for the requests to start rolling in when he falls over the cat on his way into 10 Downing Street or the like!

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