Archive for the 'Boris' Category


The favourite to succeed TMay as CON leader, a Mr. Johnson, gets his knuckles wrapped for a fake polling report

Friday, April 12th, 2019

In January Mr. Johnson wrote in his Telegraph column that:

“Of all the options suggested by pollsters – staying in the EU, coming out on Theresa May ’ terms, or coming out on World Trade terms – it is the last, the so-called no-deal option, that is gaining in popularity. In spite of – or perhaps because of – everything they have been told, it is this future that is by some margin preferred by the British public.”

A reader complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation, the regulator arguing that no poll backed up Mr. Johnson’s assertions.

IPSO has now ruled that there was no polling to back this up and has ordered the paper to print a correction.

Well done the reader who complained. I get sick and tired of people making assertions like this without backing it up with detail.

Whether this will impact on his leadership ambitions only time will tell. No doubt he’ll find a way to bluster out of it when pressed.

Mike Smithson


Johnson edges back to favourite on the day that TMay’s future could be decided

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019 chart of movement on the Betfair exchange

On the face of it a lot could be decided today that will give us a clearer view of Britain’s and Theresa May’s political Futures. The two are clearly interlinked.

With even some of her most hostile opponents within the parliamentary party now supporting her deal the prime minister is facing her backbenchers this afternoon when it’s widely expected that she’ll be pressed strongly to give an indication of her exit date.

It has been her ambivalence over this since she lost the party its majority at the June 2017 General Election that has caused a lot of tensions. While the Tories have been happy to let her take on the battle of dealing with Europe there’s virtually nobody in  the party comfortable with her leading the Tories at the next general election. Memories of her GE2017 performance are still strong. She’s somebody who loses the party seats not gains them.

In December she was pressed to give a commitment before the confidence vote in her that she would go before the general election but that’s not enough. The party wants a date and if she gives a specific undertaking this afternoon that might help secure some of the extra support she requires to get her EU deal finally through.

How that fits in with today’s Commons events where MPs will be taking part in an indicative ballot on which of the various scenarios they’ll support is hard to say. One of the options that’s not there is Theresa May’s deal.

For the prime minister’s plan to succeed it probably requires none of the alternatives that are being voted on to actually secure majority support and that might be easier should she commit to her MPs  a firm and early exit date.

Meanwhile in the next CON leader betting the chart shows that Johnson is now back as favourite slightly edging in Michael Gove. I’m not too sure either of them will end up with the top job and the fact the favourite is only a 19% shot suggests that there is great uncertainty.

In another Betfair market it is an 88% chance that TMay will go this year.

Mike Smithson


Boris’s CON leadership betting spurt appears to have run out of steam and others are moving up

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

It is inevitable with all the political moves relating to the prime minister that there is a lot of betting focus at the moment on who will succeed her both as CON leader and also Prime Minister.

Last week as the chart shows the money moved to the former mayor and former foreign secretary who has hired Lynton Crosby to run his leadership campaign, Mr Johnson. That’s evaporated but he’s still favourite though there are four or five others there waiting in the Wings.

The big factor that impacts on this market is the statement by Theresa May last week that she is[to step down and will not lead the party at the next general election. Quite when this will happen we don’t know but clearly, following the culmination of Brexit however that goes, she’s likely to be seen as a lame duck Prime Minister.

I still wonder whether her eventual successor is not yet regarded as a serious runner and might emerge as Theresa May gives further clarification of when she thinks she might be stepping aside.

Remember the historical factor in CON leadership races is that the long-standing front runner gets beaten.

Mike Smithson


The Brexit deal is being put to the Cabinet one by one

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

But what are the chances of success?

So the brexit process moves a step forward with a broad agreement that Theresa May now has to sell to her cabinet, then her party, and then the House of Commons.

Each of these hurdles looks insurmountable but then Theresa May has got over many obstacles in the 18 months since she lost the party its majority and is determined enough to push this as hard as she is able.

If Brexiteers like BoJo simply keep on with their tedious repetition of the phrase “vassal state” without doing any serious thinking then she might have a chance.

    At the end of the day the choice for MPs looks set to be between her Deal, No Deal, and the possibility of Mr Corbyn becoming PM. The latter is as horrifying to many Labour MPs as it is to Tories.

The betting markets move towards the UK leaving the EU as planned on March 29th.

Bring on BINO.

Mike Smithson


If Boris Johnson is putting the CTF band together the last time they worked together he was massively overstated in the polls

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

Don’t be seduced by massive Johnson leads. History suggests Boris isn’t as personally popular as the polls would have you believe.

The Times reported earlier on this week that

An aide to the campaigning guru Sir Lynton Crosby was seen at Boris Johnson’s home yesterday morning, hours before his conference rally. In the clearest sign yet of how closely the former foreign secretary is working with Sir Lynton’s company, Mimi Randolph, a staffer at CTF Partners, was pictured leaving his Oxfordshire home. She is understood to have helped to organise his speech in Birmingham.

Mark Fullbrook, whose surname provides the “F” initial for CTF, also had a reserved space at Mr Johnson’s packed-out rally.

Sir Lynton masterminded Mr Johnson’s two successful campaigns to be London mayor before running David Cameron’s 2015 general election campaign. But he also worked on the Tories’ disastrous general election campaign last year.

It is understandable that Boris Johnson is getting those who helped him win the London Mayoralty twice to work for him again in his aim to become the next Prime Minister but look at the chart below.

Now I can imagine the retort of the supporters of Boris is that well he won even if his lead was overstated but with the current electoral geography, where a 1% swing at the next general election can mean anything from a Tory majority to a Labour led government then accurate polling is essential. It is possible for the Tories to win most votes and seats and still lose power at the next election.

We learned at the last election that the Tories having an overrated leader produces a sub-optimal result for the Tories.



How the next CON leader betting market has moved since last year’s Conference

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

A Mr. Johnson still favourite but Javid very close

I love these historical charts of Betfair trades from and they are particularly interesting when you have events like the party conferences.

The man I’m working hard not to call just by his first name is still there in the favourite slot but the big gainers during the year have been the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, and the BrexSec, Dominic Raab. Both got promotions since the 2017 conference.

I’ve never been fully convinced of Johnson’s chances simply because of the CON election system. Remember how Portillo was squeezed out of a place in the members’ ballot in 2001 because he was pipped by IDS for one of the two names that MPs decided should be put before the membership. Looking back the Tories would surely have performed far better with Portillo than the hapless IDS who was forced out in a confidence vote in October 2003.

That’s history and Portillo’s career is now on a different track usually a railway one.

There has been some talk of the system being changed but it is hard to see CON MPs being ready to give up their power to determine the final shortlist of two.

All is dependent on when TMay goes and I am not convinced that she’ll be out next year.

On the betting I like to feature the Betfair exchange because the prices are based on real money being risked.

Mike Smithson


With his corn field jape Boris seems to be trying to validate the 57% of voters who say would he “make poor leader”

Monday, October 1st, 2018

And latest from the betting markets


Cat meet pigeons

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

Those hoping for a quiet Autumn on the politics front are set to be disappointed.

Just when you thought politics couldn’t get any more exciting several newspapers are reporting that

Theresa May last night declared war on Boris Johnson after allies said they had rumbled a plot by her Election guru to install the former Foreign Secretary as the next Prime Minister.

Senior figures at Tory HQ claim that Sir Lynton Crosby is behind plans to mount a nationwide campaign against Mrs May’s Chequers agreement on Brexit as the precursor to a Boris leadership challenge.

Australian-born Sir Lynton, who masterminded Mr Johnson’s London mayoral victory in 2008 and who remains a close friend, is said to be motivated by ‘revenge’ after No 10 blamed the strategist for last year’s botched General Election.

Mr Johnson denies plotting with Sir Lynton to derail Mrs May’s Brexit negotiations and seize Downing Street. But in a sharply worded shot across his bows last night, a senior Tory source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Boris hasn’t thought this through. His plan could result in us delaying leaving the EU, or even not leaving at all. If that happens, the party membership would never forgive him.’

When Boris Johnson and Sir Lynton Crosby work together it usually leads to success for Boris. But the political attractiveness of the 2018 Boris Johnson is much diminished from the political attractiveness of Boris Johnson of 2008 and 2012.

Although if this Crosby campaign is as successful as the Tory general election campaign of 2017 I’m fully expecting the UK to Remain in the EU whilst signing up to the Euro and Schengen within weeks.