Reinvesting some of my North Shropshire wininngs
At the weekend I placed a bet at 7.2 on Betfair that Starmer will be the next PM. To be successful this gamble has two very distinctive components – that Johnson goes into the next general election as Prime Minister and in that election the Tories lose their majority.
I think many are overestimating the possibility of there being a change in the Tory leadership before the next general election. . Perhaps we will look back to December 2021 as being the one moment when Johnson would have struggled to beat off a challenge.
It is hard to enivisage Johnson going of his own accord and my view is that the chances of the GE2019 winner being kicked out by his own MPs are overstated. In fact if there is CON MP attempt to no-confidence him you can envisage Johnson taking all sorts of measures to try to thwart the process.
As for Starmer his chances of moving to Number 10 after the election are not dependent on a LAB majority or even his party winning most seats. Effectively all that needs to happen is for there to be enough Tory losses for Johnson to lose his working Commons majority. The Tories have, of course, become uncoalitionable. For apart from maybe a few DUP MPs, if indeed there are any next time, Johnson would struggle to find support from other parties to keep him in power.
If Sinn Fein MPs continue their practice of not taking their seats then my reckoning is that Johnson would lose an effective majority with 47 seat losses. In that situation, it is hard to see anyone else but Starmer being in a position to try to form a government.
One thing that is rarely highlighted when looking to the next election is that Johnson’s Tories won the majority last time with a national vote lead of just under 12%. So any CON lead less than that amounts to a swing to LAB. The Tories could lose power even with a 4%-5% GB vote lead which would constitute a 4% CON to LAB swing.
All of this makes Starmer a better than 13.9% chance (my bet) for next PM.