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Looking at when Boris Johnson’s tenure as Conservative Party leader will end

January 12th, 2020
Boris Johnson exit date market on Betfair as at 8pm on 11th of January 2020.

Recent history suggests Boris Johnson will not see out a full term.

It seems churlish to be talking about Boris Johnson’s exit date a month after he won a majority of 80 but two out of the last three Conservative leaders to win a majority didn’t see out a full term (and the third one was said to be in office but not power leading to a devastating defeat for the Conservative Party at the next election) so winning a majority for the Conservative party doesn’t ensure political longevity.

The last four Conservative Prime Ministers have seen their Premierships either ended or destroyed because of the United Kingdom’s relationship with our European neighbours and you can see it happening again. As David Herdson noted yesterday Brexit isn’t going away and it is likely to be the biggest domestic issue of 2020.

As we can see in the tweets above even Boris Johnson’s own advisers are expecting Boris Johnson to disappoint Leavers, the evidence is strong for that supposition. Just look at his comments in 2018 when he said a UK Prime Minister never could or should put the border in the Irish Sea, then in 2019 that’s exactly what he did. If Boris Johnson takes Brexit in a direction that the Leavers/ERG aren’t happy with then they might seek to oust him.

I’m reminded of the fact that when Johnson was Mayor of London ‘[Boris Johnson] loved to be loved and found it so hard to say “no” that aides never allowed him to meet Bob Crow, the transport workers’ leader, lest he gave away the store.’ when you add in that desire to be loved he might end up acquiescing to the EU to get a deal done, he didn’t do anything to stop Brexit being delayed in October 2019 because deep down I’m guessing he knew the dangers of a sustained No Deal Brexit.

Apart from Brexit there’s other way for Boris Johnson to leave office unexpectedly, he seems to be a scandal magnet because of his love life. Those who know him well offered him the advice to ‘lock up your willy’ when he was contemplating running for London Mayor. It isn’t difficult to envisage a scenario when the Prime Minister’s willy might lead to a career ending incident.

As far as I can see Betfair are the only bookies offering a market on Boris Johnson’s exit so I’m tempted to take a nibble on the 14s on 2021 being Boris Johnson year of departure, but this is currently a very illiquid market, hopefully we’ll see more bookies offering odds on this market.

TSE