Rishi Sunak is the incumbent with no signs of looking to leave the job but at some point the Conservative Party will have a new leader and we take a look at the latest prices in this market according to Betfred…
Boris Johnson was in the news over the weekend yet again as the former Prime Minister was linked with potential issues surrounding a £800,000 loan he took out that may have involved Richard Sharp, the man who he would go on to appoint as BBC Chairman. It wasn’t the only whiff of Tory sleaze to appear in the newspapers over the weekend but it hasn’t dampened enthusiasm from some for the former PM to return to the top job.
Betfred have Johnson as the 4/1 favourite to be the next leader of the party. Back in the autumn when the premiership of Liz Truss unravelled, it looked as though Johnson was ready to throw his hat back into the ring and strut into Downing Street mere weeks after he’d left having lost the confidence of his party. There was plenty of talk that he had the 100 nominations needed to make the ballot but in the end, he either chose not to run or that talk was untrue.
Either way, his former chancellor Rishi Sunak got the job and looks set to lead the party into the next General Election but he also got into trouble last week. The PM got a fixed penalty notice for not wearing a seatbelt in a moving car meaning that he has received two during his time in government. The Conservative Party are priced up at 6/1 to win the next General Election so another leadership contest could be right around the corner.
One person whose odds are on the drift is former Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi whose tax issues have caused quite the stir in recent days. The MP for Stratford-on-Avon settled his issues with HMRC whilst serving as the Chancellor of the Exchequer according to multiple news outlets and the pressure is mounting on him to resign as Party Chairman. He’s now listed as a 33/1 shot to come through and lead his party whenever Sunak moves on but his stock is falling like a stone and he doesn’t have the popularity among the base to overcome such a political storm.
Kemi Badenoch has seen his star shine brighter in recent months and she’s now the second-favourite at 6/1 to be the next leader of the party, which is quite something considering she was a relatively unknown minister not long ago. The MP for Saffron Walden is an advocate of small government and is happy to use political hot topics to boost her ratings. Any run for leader is bound to use her position on ’woke’ issues as a central core of any campaign.
Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt was very close to getting the job back in the summer but was pipped to the post by Liz Truss who stole in and got the second spot on the ballot opposite Rishi Sunak. She is now the Leader of the House of Commons and would be considered a more central-leaning candidate when the time comes. We have her at 8/1.
Just behind her in the betting is Ben Wallace at 9/1 who didn’t throw his hat into the ring the last time came available. His military background would play well to the Conservative base and is a decent price to win should he decide to run whenever the job next comes available.
Everything though – as it has done seemingly for years – flows through Boris Johnson. If the former PM decides he wants another crack at the job then it would be tough to see a way in which he doesn’t win. In all likelihood no leadership contest will take place until after the next General Election and if the Tories lose, would Johnson really want to be the Leader of the Opposition? That is the one thing that I just can’t fathom out. Wallace and Mordaunt seem like the value plays for me.