In what has been a turbulent week in the UK’s ongoing exit from the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May will now face a vote of no confidence on her leadership.
This morning, it was announced that chairman of the 1922 committee Sir Graham Brady had received 48 letters from Conservative MPs, enough to trigger a vote of no confidence in the party leader.
This comes after the Prime Minister’s decision to delay the parliamentary vote on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement over fears that it would be rejected. Tory rebels are now calling for her removal, with the issue of the Northern Irish backstop diving the party.
In a statement made outside 10 Downing Street, May said: “I will contest that vote with everything I have got.”
Conservative MPs will vote from 18:00 GMT to 20:00 GMT and a result is expected within two hours, but what are the no-confidence odds that Theresa May will survive the vote?
Despite wild speculation, bookmakers have predicted that May will survive the leadership challenge, for now at least, with May now odds-on to remain as Prime Minister.
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Paddy Power has given Theresa May odds of 1/4 of hanging on as Tory leader, with the odds of her losing the vote of no confidence at 11/4.
Ladbrokes has given odds of 2/7 of her staying, and odds of 5/2 that she will be ousted.
According to oddschecker, this is equivalent to an 80% chance that she “emerges victorious from the vote”.
Despite signalling a resounding lack of faith in May’s Brexit proposals, bookies appear confident that a change of leadership is not on the cards yet, with her cabinet and a number of backbenchers publicly backing the Prime Minister.
If this is correct then it looks likely that May will receive the 158 votes needed to remain as party leader and not trigger a leadership contest in which other members of the party could put themselves forward as her replacement. It also means she is immune from another vote of no confidence for twelve months.
However the number of letters received by Sir Graham Brady is not yet known, and it remains to be seen whether MPs will stick to their public stance when it comes to the secret ballot.
Who is the bookies’ favourite to take over?
However, this will not stop speculation over who the next leader could be. The favourite to take over as Tory leader Boris Johnson, a staunch Brexiteer and outspoken critic of May’s Brexit plan. The former foreign secretary has not ruled out standing for leader, and has been given odds of 4/1 by Ladbrokes.
Joint favourite is Dominic Raab, who was appointed as Brexit secretary in place of David Davis in July, but resigned after just four months, saying that he could not support May’s Brexit proposal, calling it worse than remaining in the EU. He has also been given odds of 4/1.
Despite publically backing May, tweeting that a Tory leadership election would be “self-indulgent and wrong” Sajid Javid has also been given good odds to take over as leader, with Ladbrokes giving him odds of 6/1. Javid backed Remain during the EU referendum but is a known Eurosceptic, and now appears to be backing a harder Brexit. He has also hinted at having ambitions of being party leader.
Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt, who have also both publically backed the Prime Minister, could also be in the running, with Paddy Power giving them odds of 6/1 and 7/1 respectively.
Once tipped as a potential successor, hard Brexiteer and prominent figure in the coup against the Prime Minister Jacob Rees Mogg has dropped down to 16/1.
Outside of the Tory party, leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn is unsurprisingly a favourite to be the next Prime Minister, with Ladbrokes offering odds of 6/1. However, for this to happen, the Prime Minister would have to call a snap election, or the Labour party would need to call its own vote of no confidence in the government in Parliament, which the party is reportedly unwilling to do until there has been a chance to vote on May’s Withdrawal Agreement.
Speaking on the no-confidence odds, and who could be in the running to replace May, Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said:
“Sajid Javid has been the most popular bet with punters since Tuesday evening when news of a potential leadership contest broke, however it’s Boris Johnson that has seen the most amount of money and wagers placed on him to succeed Theresa May as Tory leader.”