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The first leader out betting. (Also known as how much the world has changed in the last ten days)

June 18th, 2017

Corbyn is set to see off his second Tory Prime Minster in just his first two years as Labour leader.

Paddy Power have a market up on who will resign first, Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn, judging by the reports in today’s papers that 1/12 looks like value, though I’m not backing it, given the other side of the bet is 6/1.

In an extraordinarily well sourced piece, Tim Shipman of The Sunday Times writes that after Mrs May’s response to the tragic events at Grenfall Towers (and in stark contrast to the response of Her Majesty The Queen)

[Tory] MPs warned there had been a collective collapse of trust in May’s leadership, and a cabinet minister told friends he was “worried about her state of mind”. Another minister close to May said: “She had better stop feeling sorry for herself, pull up her socks and start to lead — and if she can’t do that she should go. Shape up or ship out.”

Tory sources said there was a mood to “do an IDS” on May, meaning to force a vote of no confidence to oust her, as happened to Iain Duncan Smith in 2003; 48 MPs would need to demand a vote.

One senior backbencher said he was under pressure to join in: “I’ve got serious members in my constituency texting me saying: ‘You’ve got to get rid of her quickly because every time she appears she’s making the party more toxic’.”

Heidi Allen, the MP for South Cambridgeshire, issued a coded call for May to change or go. She said the public wanted “a leader and a party that will carry us through this most turbulent of periods but care about the little man at the same time . . . We have to change, and if we don’t we deserve to die.”

A former minister added: “She’s going to have to go sooner rather than later. The critical moment is June 28 and 29 when there are votes on the Queen’s speech. If it looks like they will be lost, you have to strike.”

The Sunday Times and other papers also note some Leavers in the Tory party are also planning on toppling Mrs May if she doesn’t deliver a hard Brexit, though it probably bodes well for her that these Leavers don’t know the rules about how to topple a Tory leader, as they seem to be unaware the Tory leadership rules were changed in the late 1990s and a stalking horse challenge is no longer an option.

But back to the betting front, ten days ago, a similar market would have likely seen the odds in reverse, which shows a few weeks or ten days is a long time in Parliament. For those who think the outcome of the next election is already set in stone, this should be a salutary warning. There’s roughly 250 weeks until the next general election, the political pendulum can swing in any direction very quickly.

TSE