Political punters were kept busy all night, as rumours circulated Whitehall that embattled Prime Minister Theresa May would be forced into a vote-of-confidence by Tory party rebels.
Early this morning, Sir Graham Brady of the Conservative 1922 Committee confirmed that he had received the 48 declarations needed to trigger a cabinet vote on PM May’s leadership, which will take place tonight (Wednesday) between 6-8pm.
PM May needs to secure 158 votes (the Tory MP majority), to retain party leadership for at least another year. Standing steadfast May states that she will not abandon the terms of her unpopular Brexit agreement – which has led to the ‘confidence showdown’.
Updating all UK political markets, Betfair this morning announced that a ‘Flood of bets and money’ had been placed on the PM since the confidence vote was announced, with May currently at ‘odds-on at 1/2 to retain leadership following tonight’s vote’.
Betfair Spokesperson Katie Baylis said: “While Theresa May is under immense pressure to retain the leadership ahead of tonight’s vote, we are seeing a huge amount of backing from punters since the vote was announced this morning for her to prevail.
“She’s now odds-on at 1/2 to come through tonight with her leadership still intact, and those odds have been shortening by the minute.”
Working in May’s favour is the scarce choice of candidates willing to take on the reality of PM negotiating Brexit terms, whilst trying to unite a fractured party regardless of the vote of confidence.
Should the PM be defeated, Paddy Power Politics has placed former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab as 9/2 market leader of ‘to replace Theresa’ – followed by a cramped Tory pack of Boris Johnson (5/1), Sajid Javid (5/1) and Michael Gove (6/1)
Updating the media, Spokesman Paddy Power said: “Things have moved quickly overnight in UK politics, but not as quickly as Dominic Raab’s last few months – he’s gone from political anonymity to the favourite to be next Tory leader.
“Which, given Theresa May’s stint, is much the same thing.”
Moving towards a new year, both Paddy Power and Betfair, firmly believe that 2019 will deliver more UK political shenanigans – pricing 2/5 that there will be no deal reached before official withdrawal day and 8/11 that we will have another Brexit Referendum next year.