Brexit has continued to take hold of British politics, with Ladbrokes Coral reporting that odds have shortened on a potential Theresa May departure in May 2019.
With only 36 days until the UK is due to formally leave the European Union (EU), MPs are still struggling to gauge any clear idea as to what will actually happen when 29 March eventually arrives.
Matthew Shaddick, Head of Political Betting at Ladbrokes Coral commented on the trends: “The main impact on the markets has been for a move on an early general election; 2019 into 6/4 from 7/4 and, in particular, May 2019 into 4/1.”
Upcoming local and bi-elections, due to take place on 2 May, will act as suitable tests for MPs who are wishing to stand in a General Election, which could possibly explain the influx of votes placed for May 2019.
It follows the announcement that a further three MPs have defected from the Conservative party to join the newly-formed Independent Group, citing Brexit dissatisfaction as a primary reason.
Anna Soubrey, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen have joined the eight other Labour MPs as part of the Independent Group, taking its membership to 11.
The formation of the new political party has, surprisingly, not had much of an effect upon whether punters believe that Brexit negotiations will go ahead.
Anna Soubrey, the MP for Broxtowe, cited the “Government’s disastrous handling of Brexit” as the “final straw” in her decision to depart from the Conservative party. Soubrey stated: “Following the EU referendum of 2016, no genuine effort was made to build a cross party, let alone a national consensus to deliver Brexit.
“Instead of seeking to heal the divisions or to tackle the underlying causes of Brexit, the priority was to draw up ‘red lines’. The 48 per cent were not only sidelined, they were alienated.”
It is with a heavy heart I have today resigned from the Conservative Party. pic.twitter.com/wzPUB84w5Z
— Anna Soubry MP (@Anna_Soubry) February 20, 2019
Following Labour’s recent anti-semitism backlash, many punters – according to Shaddick – may feel that an early 2019 general election would be a suitable time for Conservatives to try gain support from disenfranchised Labour supporters.
Shaddick continued: “We’re also seeing money for Any Other Party to win most seats in that election, now being backed at an amazingly low 20/1 and Chuka Umunna is now into 66/1 to be next PM.”
It is likely that the outcome of May’s Brussels negotiations yesterday may impact the market further, and their implications could possibly result in more defections