Liz Truss has resigned as Prime Minster of the United Kingdom, making her the shortest tenured PM in British history.
Truss’ tumultuous 45 days as Prime Minister have been unsteady to say the least. They started with her chancellor’s disastrous “mini budget” - which sent markets into a panicked frenzy and saw the pound hit its lowest ever rate against the US dollar - before we saw major U-turns on key policies, the firing of said chancellor, the stinging resignation of her home secretary, and reports of bullying amid important votes.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg...
It all led to much unrest among the Conservative Party, with Truss having very little credibility among her colleagues - some of whom supported her to become leader just a few weeks ago.
Now she’s gone, who’s best placed to take up the mantle? Could Rishi Sunak, runner-up in the summer’s leadership contest, be given the opportunity?
Or will the job be handed back to Boris Johnson in the kind of dramatic return usually reserved for the scripts of professional wrestling’s most audacious storylines?
We can speculate all we like. Truss has said there will be another leadership contest, but a new Conservative leader will be instaled within a week.
But what do the bookies think? Informed by insider knowledge, unconfirmed reports and Westminster hearsay, their predictions are at least somewhat educated. Right?!
Here is everything you need to know.
Who could be the next Prime Minister?
This is a fast moving story, as politicians enter and withdraw their names from the leadership race. The following odds were correct as of 3pm BST on Saturday 22 October.
According to Oddschecker, which collates the odds given by the biggest betting sites, Rishi Sunak (2/9) stands the best chance of being the next Prime Minister after Liz Truss.
Sunak came close to securing the job over the summer, taking on Truss in the leadership contest in which he placed as runner-up.
It’s fair to say that Sunak’s Conservatism is less hardline than that of Truss’, especially when it comes to finances. His economic approach would likely be quite different to that of ‘Trussonomics’, but could that be what’s needed to steady the ship?
Second most likely to succeed Truss - according to the bookmakers - is former Prime Minister Boris Johnson (11/4). Johnson jetted back to the UK from his holiday in the Dominican Republic amid rumours he is planning to make a bid to return to Number 10.
His return would certainly be noteworthy, but would he want it? Despite hinting at a future return to frontbench politics, it is said Johnson is spending his time securing his finances with lucrative speaking engagements, and remains feeling “bruised” by the way he was removed from office just a few months ago.
Penny Mordaunt (25/1) is third favourite; it had previously been mooted that the Leader of the House of Commons and Rishi Sunak could be installed at the head of a new administration on a joint ticket. How likely that is now remains to be seen.
Kit Malthouse is a name also being mentioned on the bookies odds at (67/1).
Kemi Badenoch (179/1) - another of the leadership hopefuls from this summer’s race - rounds out the top five.
What else are bookmakers predicting?
There’s plenty of talk about who could succeed Liz Truss, but when will Britain next get a chance to go to the polls in a general election?
Looking at some of Oddschecker’s other British politics categories, we can see that bookmakers still believe the next general election will come in 2024 (1/2).
They’re predicting that Keir Starmer could be Prime Minister after that vote (2/9), but that depends on whether or not he is still Labour leader: Andy Burnham is bookies’ favourite to take over (26/5).
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