Bookmakers are more confident than ever that Theresa May will be the next Prime Minister, with her odds holding firm as second-favourite Andrea Leadsom’s chances slip further.
Graham Sharpe, a spokesman for William Hill, said customers were going all-out with bets on the Home Secretary:
“Theresa May is cruising to victory in the race to become the next Prime Minister. Punters have now forced the Home Secretary’s odds down from 1/3 (75% chance) to 1/5 (83%) to win the current Tory leadership contest.”
Sharpe suggested that May’s competition has no chance in beating her, saying “May is being backed as though defeat is out of the question. 44.7% of all the money taken in this market has been staked on her; 16.3% for Andrea Leadsom and just 9.3% for Michael Gove.”
Here are the current odds for the three Conservative candidates still in the leadership race. William Hill’s odds on May have improved even further since its statement this morning, moving from 1/5 to 1/6:
- Ladbrokes: May 1/5 — Leadsom 9/2 — Gove 14/1
- William Hill: May 1/6 — Leadsom 4/1 — Gove 14/1
- Betfair: May 1/5 — Leadsom 9/2 — Gove — 14/1
- Paddy Power: May 1/5 — Leadsom 4/1 — Gove — 16/1
- Sky Bet: May 1/4 — Leadsom 3/1 — Gove — 16/1
May easily won the first round of Tory MP voting on Tuesday, getting 165 votes to Leadsom’s 66. Michael Gove managed 48 votes, a better result than many expected after his controversial entry into the leadership race.
It has been a tough week for Leadsom. On Wednesday a leaked text from Gove backer Nick Boles urged May supporters to tactically support Gove to avoid a Leadsom win:
“I respect the fact that you want Theresa May to be the Prime Minister. It is overwhelmingly likely that she will be, and if she does I will sleep easily at night. But I am seriously frightened about the risk of allowing Andrea Leadsom onto the membership ballot.”
Leadsom’s CV and her experience in the City have also come under intense scrutiny, with previous coworkers suggesting her claims of leading large teams are not true. She released her updated CV on Wednesday, but it still has some glaring omissions.
Despite the pressure, Leadsom is still the strong favourite among pro-Brexit voters who are worried that a May leadership will not follow-through on Brexit after she previously campaigned for the Remain side. Leadsom spoke briefly at a rally this morning, urging the crowd to “banish the pessimists,” to great applause. The next round of Conservative MP voting takes place today, with a result expected in the late afternoon.
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