No Change in UK Politics Despite Odds Off for Brexit

Roulette wheel says Brexit
UK prime minister Theresa May suffered a heavy defeat on her EU Withdrawal Bill, but she clings on to power.

30-second summary

  • Prime minister Theresa May loses the vote on Brexit deal
  • Immediately faced a vote of no confidence
  • Survives it by a majority of 19
  • Odds show markets back government, but not Brexit

One of history’s worst defeats

It has been a tumultuous week in politics for the UK prime minister Theresa May. The overwhelming decision by MPs to say no to her Brexit proposal was one that will stand in history as one of the worst defeats – a whopping 2:1 defeat.

A staggering 432 MPs (of 634), voted against her and the terms she agreed for exiting the European Union on March 29, 2019.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn immediately tabled a vote of no confidence in the government. Betfair priced odds of 1/7 odds that the government WILL survive, over 4/1 to lose.

Trend of no change

Normally such a staggering defeat would lead to the resignation of a prime minister. However, the trend of no change continues as May has indicated she will not be resigning.

Bookmakers, however, are setting the odds for her early departure. Paddy Power Politics has odds of 2/1, slashed from 7/1, that May will depart office this week. There is a general consensus of a 9/4 chance of her leaving before April 2019, and 9/4 between April and June 2019.

Speculation over who will be next prime minister after Theresa May has also reached the bookmakers, Betfair’s firm favorites are Boris Johnson at 13/2 and Sajid Javid at 8/1, followed by Dominic Raab, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt.

Betfair also priced odds for Jeremy Corbyn at 4/1 – this would require a general election, but Corbyn remains Betfair’s top choice.

Bookies back the government

Despite the mayhem, Paddy Power is backing the government and its PM with odds of 1/5 that the Conservatives will survive the votes and continue on… A new soap opera? No, just the drama of UK politics.

Concerns now run high as the chances of Brexit sit at an odds of 1/5 that the UK won’t leave the EU by March 29 as scheduled, with odds of 9/2 that the deadline will be met. Betfair is offering odds at 1/12 that the Commons won’t actually pass a Brexit deal.

With the continued period of no actual change, and more questions being asked than answered, a spokesperson from Betfair shared their views: “With so many possible outcomes, issues and controversies ahead, we are expecting a huge amount of movement across all UK political markets in what is almost, without doubt, the most tumultuous period in British political history.”

Right now the UK government may not be changing, but the market is, and it seems that Theresa May, could have made a deal after all. As a spokesman for Paddy Power so eloquently put it: “It seems as though she may have secured a leave deal after all… for herself.”