We should make this perfectly clear: while the bookies are as sharp as a tack and rarely get things wrong in a sporting context, when it comes to politics they aren’t always on the ball.
The bookmakers made both Leave in the Brexit referendum and Donald Trump to be US President both huge outsiders in their odds….and we know how both of those situations panned out.
So when it comes to political betting, perhaps the sportsbooks aren’t the shrewdest of judges when it comes to analysing public sentiment.
And maybe they have made a mistake again, because as of today punters can still avail themselves of odds of 6/5 that the UK will leave the European Union on October 31 without a deal.
It’s a scenario that, given the circumstances of the past week, appears to be almost a given. First, Boris Johnson prorogued parliament, which basically means he will close down government for a five week period in September and December.
And that will, in essence, prevent government discussing any potential deal that Boris Johnson draws up with EU chiefs – or, more likely, it will prevent his fellow MPs from getting together to stage a coup that prevents a No Deal Brexit from arising.
Today, a judge in Scotland turned down an appeal from a group of 75 MPs to impose a temporary injunction on the proroguing prior to a full parliamentary hearing.
Lord Doherty refused to order a temporary halt to Boris Johnson’s plan to shut down the UK Parliament – a group of 75 parliamentarians were seeking an interim interdict https://t.co/UuUWHAzith pic.twitter.com/vPncu0m0P8
— BBC Scotland News (@BBCScotlandNews) 30 August 2019
It was a bitter blow to campaigners, and one that only served to strengthen the position of those seeking to leave the EU by any means necessary.
Boris Johnson has claimed on numerous occasions that he does actually want to leave the European Union with a deal in place, and he has even spoken today of ‘upping the tempo’ in his talks with the EU’s big cheeses.
Besides, provisions are now in place for a No Deal Brexit, and with stumbling blocks in negotiations leaving talks at a standstill, that 6/5 price is likely to go odds-on in the coming weeks.
Will There Be a General Election This Year?
Again, according to the bookies, the likelihood of a general election this year has now become a very strong indeed.
They are quoting odds of 4/9 on a general election taking place in 2019, and as any punter knows that suggests a very high probability indeed.
There is a couple of different chain of events that could precipitate an election – yes, another one.
Can you remember when Theresa May was appointed Conservative leader when David Cameron fell on his sword? She came out and said that she needed a mandate from the British public to lead; hence the last general election. By hook or by crook, the former prime minister just about got one.
You can bet your bottom dollar that if Boris does manage to get Brexit over the line by the deadline, and with some kind of deal ideally, he will look to call a general election as soon as possible. In that scenario, he would surely wipe the floor with Jeremy Corbyn and co.
Also, a general election could be ‘forced’ if rebel MPs and opposition file a vote of no confidence against the current prime minister.
If they could prove he wasn’t fit to lead, an election would be a nigh-on certainty; that vote could come as early as next week if Corbyn files the no confidence motion, or it may come if a No Deal Brexit is where we find ourselves come November.
Either way, unfortunately a general election looks a certainty in 2019.