I like this market from Smarkets because it allows you to bet on Boris Johnson’s future without getting dragged into the Boris Johnson exit markets where predicting the year of his exit which can be fraught with difficulties. This market is a simple will enough Conservative MPs write a letter to Sir Graham Brady to trigger a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson before the next general election.
My expectation is that the Conservatives will hold North Shropshire on Thursday which should ameliorate the pressure on Boris Johnson but there’s other issues which could cause problems for him, particularly on Covid-19 where over 60 Conservative MPs and counting, not all of them from the Covid Recovery Group of Conservative MPs, have announced they are voting against vaccine passports thus requiring Boris Johnson the support of Sir Keir Starmer for the legislation to become law.
The Notorious CRG are led by Mark Harper, a former chief whip under David Cameron & leadership contender in 2019, and the Deputy Chair of the CRG is Steve Baker who helped launch the VONC that fatally ruined Mrs May’s premiership after a major parliamentary rebellion, so these are people who know how to topple a PM.
With people realising that ‘the stairs to the prime minister’s family flat start in a hall adjacent to the Downing Street press office, scene of the infamous Christmas party on December 18’ Boris Johnson has a lot of questions to answer about that party, with it looking like he misled the Queen’s former private secretary over wallpapergate, it might not be one specific thing that ends his premiership but the cumulative load of the sheer number scandals and lies.
Being Prime Minister was Boris Johnson’s ambition in life since childhood it isn’t difficult to imagine him trying to hang on in as Prime Minister when everyone else knows the game is up. A VONC might be the only way to get him to end his disastrous tenure as Prime Minister. Having a shorter premiership than David Cameron or Theresa May will wound Boris Johnson in a way that neither he or I could put into words.
Boris Johnson would attempt to brazen it out in a way that would inspire a million Downfall parodies. I’m sure Jacob Rees-Mogg will remind Boris Johnson even if he wins the VONC with 63% or more of the vote ‘the Prime Minister must realise that under all constitutional norms, he ought to go to see the Queen urgently and resign.’
Even if Boris Johnson wins the VONC this bet would pay out as a winner. The terms of this bet are quite clear which also allows punters to make an informed choice before betting. I’m going for yes.
PS – At the time of writing (11pm on Saturday night) Mark Harper is 75 on Betfair to be next PM, I’ve had a few small bets on him on the past. As a former Chief Whip and with a Covid-19 restriction rebellion looming then he might be best placed to be the standard bearer for the living with Covid/liberty wing of the party. At that price he’s excellent value in my view.