David Davis resigns: Bookies slash odds on a general election being called after Brexit secretary's departure

But Mrs May remains favourite to be leading country into the new year

Monday 09 July 2018 10:58
David Davis, former Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
David Davis, former Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

The odds of a general election have dramatically fallen following the resignation of David Davis as Brexit secretary.

Bookies slashed prices overnight following his decision to quit the government.

And they made Mr Davis himself one of the favourites to be the new Conservative leader should the party force Theresa May out.

Bookmaker Betfred reduced its odds of an election from an unlikely 5-1 on Sunday to an entirely possible 7-4 by Monday morning. Mr Davis’ chances of being the next Tory leader had fallen from 50-1 to 12-1.

“There have been a couple of big punts on him overnight,” said spokesperson Mark Pearson.

But, conversely perhaps, the odds of Mrs May remaining as prime minister until at least the end of the year stayed largely unmoved. She is still the favourite to be leading the country into 2019.

“I think people – in the country and in the Conservative party – are thinking that yes it’s chaos but, ultimately, there’s a wariness that a change in leader would only add to that chaos, and I think the odds reflect that,” said Mr Pearson.

He added that should voters be sent to the polls for the third time in four years, the result would probably be much the same as last time out: no overall majority remains the most likely outcome with odds of just 11-8 being offered. The chances of a Conservative victory are 15-8, with Labour marginally behind at 9-4.

The favourite to succeed Mrs May as Tory leader whenever that happens remains Sajid Javid at 4-1. Other contenders at 5-1 are Jacob Rees-Mogg and Michael Gove.

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