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How long will Boris Johnson survive as PM?

29th Jul 19 8:19 am

Now that Boris Johnson has achieved his life-long aim of being the UK Prime Minister, speculation inevitably turns to how long he will last?

Smarkets exchange have provided expert analysis on whether Boris Johnson will be the shortest-serving PM, George Canning and the Viscount Goderich (120 and 131 days respectively) are the ones to beat and Boris’s chances of lasting more than 132 days are currently at 86%.

Smarkets also have a market on what year he will cease to be Prime Minister. ‘2022 or later’ currently leads the way at 35%, suggesting that he might be in office a lot longer than some people expect.

You could be forgiven for thinking Boris would go sooner, with him being rated (58%) much more unfavourably than Theresa May (36%) when she took office, according to YouGov.

With many Tory MPs feeling the same, it would only take a small number to support a future vote of no confidence and trigger a General Election. A vote was proposed by the Lib Dems on the last day of parliamentary action before summer recess yesterday, but Jeremy Corbyn decided against supporting it. However, our market on a second vote of no confidence in 2019 has never been higher with an implied probability of 88%.

A vote of no confidence would precede an early (pre-2022) General Election, and our market on what year the next national poll will take place has seen some interesting movement since Boris was confirmed as PM.

Next General Election

The implied chance of a 2019 election is as high as it’s ever been at 57%, with 2020 next at 30%. Whenever it comes, Smarkets will be ready for it. We already have several markets on the new parliament, with the Conservatives in the lead for most seats at 54% and Labour at 32%, a +4% boost for the Tories since Boris became PM.

However, the expectation is that this will not lead to a workable majority. It’s 60% that there is no overall majority at the next election, meaning we could be heading for another hung parliament.

As we get closer to an election, alongside our existing markets on prorogation, turnout, and majorities, we will also create special handicap markets to make some clear outcomes more interesting.

Brexit

As with Theresa May, Boris’s premiership will be defined by Brexit. With his adamant tone that the UK will leave the EU on 31 October come what may, our market on the Brexit date has followed his pronouncement with September to December 2019’ rising sharply to 49%, its highest-ever traded price.

However, our market on a no-deal Brexit in 2019 has a 73% implied probability that the UK won’t leave the EU without a deal, which suggests that Smarkets traders see his posturing as the best way for the UK to get a better-renegotiated Withdrawal Agreement before the October deadline arrives.

Sarbjit Bakhshi, Smarkets Head of Political Markets said, “Boris has finally achieved his life ambition and become the Prime Minister. In a complete revamp of his Cabinet, he has created a strong base to challenge the ascendancy of the Brexit Party in the next General Election, which is now odds-on at 53% to take place this year. A Boris bounce of +4% for the Tories is visible on our most-seats market in the next parliament as a result of his election.

“With an eye on the Brexit deadline, Boris is playing hardball to get a better Withdrawal Agreement, even though the EU has again stated there is no chance of renegotiation. A Brexit of any form in the final third of the year is up to 49%, but with no deal seemingly unlikely at 73%, the picture remains very blurry and without a doubt a head-scratcher for the new British leader.”

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