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Next Prime Minister Odds: Down to the last three as Kemi Badenoch gets the chop

Next Prime Minister Odds: Kemi Badenoch ran a strong campaign but just failed to get through to the final vote.
Next Prime Minister Odds: Kemi Badenoch ran a strong campaign but just failed to get through to the final vote.

Will this Tory Party leadership race never end?  After the demise of Boris Johnson we now have a series of votes and debates to ascertain who will be the next leader of the Conservative Party and the de-facto Primer Minister. We are currently down to three remaining candidates after the latest round of voting, which saw Kemi Badenoch eliminated after receiving the lowest number of votes. We have asked our go-to-guy for all things political, Adam Roberts, to detail the process, timescales and the runners and riders for the big job. 

Latest news:

Tuesday saw the 4th round of the ballot of Tory MP's and it was right wing darling Kemi Badenoch who was the eliminated party having received the least number of votes. We are now down to just three in the race to be the next Prime Minister of the UK and it will be one of Liz Truss or Penny Mordaunt who will take on Rishi Sunak, who is just two votes off the 120 limit. It seems likely that Badenoch's supporters are more likely to go to Liz Truss than Penny Mordaunt and she is now as short as even money to be the next Prime Minister!

The 3rd leadership debate on Sky News with Kay Burley was cancelled due to infighting concerns amongst the government. 

What is the process for electing the leader?

The 1922 Committee, the backbench MP's responsible for the election rules, announced the new speedier process for the Tory Party leadership elections on Monday. So how does it work?

Candidate hopefuls needed a minimum of 20 backers to even enter the race, up from the usual eight. The first round vote was held on Wednesday where candidates needed to secure at least 30 MP votes, a figure that couldn't be reached by Jeremy Hunt(18) and Nadhim Zahawi (25). 

Now we move onto a series of run-off votes, beginning on Thursday afternoon where the candidate with the fewest votes will be eliminated, until we are left with the final two. We will also be subject to two televised debates on 17th July (ITV) and 19th July (Sky News). In the first run off ballot, we saw Suella Braverman exit, then in the second it was Tom Tugendhat and in the third it was Kemi Badenoch.

The final two candidates are then put to a postal ballot between existing Conservative Party members. The winner is the person with the most votes and the result is expected by the 5th September

Political Betting

Who are the remaining candidates?

The Favourites

Rishi Sunak - 5/4


Implied probability of winning : 44%

First round ballot: 88

Second round ballot : 101

Third round ballot:  115

Fourth round ballot: 118

Polling amongst party members 13%

The former Chancellor of the Exchequer was once seen as the obvious replacement as Prime Minister. 'Dishy Rishi' was the party golden boy, heart-throb to the housewives, and cold-blooded stats man who was the steady hand to ensure the economy continued to recover post-pandemic. However, his sleek PR campaign started to show huge cracks and whether the general electorate will be able to find common ground with a former banker at Goldman Sachs, a hedge-fund owner and a man who is married to a woman richer than the queen is another question altogether. He has had a large hit to his popularity with the non-dom scandal relating to his wife and his role in the cost of living crisis. Sunak has huge support amongst back benchers, but isn't seen as popular amongst Conservative Party members, or the general public for a potential general election.

Liz Truss - 5/4


Implied probability of winning : 44%

First round ballot: 50

Second round ballot: 64

Third round ballot: 71

Fourth round ballot: 86

Polling amongst party members 13%

If you had asked me a few years ago about Liz Truss becoming the next Prime Minister, I'd have made a discreet call to Broadmoor and had you shipped off. The former Secretary of State for International Trade burst onto the political scene with a very strange speech on pork markets and cheese, but since then has been promoted to the heady heights of Foreign Secretary and is seen by some as the next darling of the party. Truss campaigned passionately for Remain during the Brexit referendum but is now seen as a staunch Brexiteer by the likes of her backers, Nadine Dorries and Jacob Rees-Mogg. 

Truss came right in in the betting shortly after defeated rival Suella Braverman pledged her support to the Truss campaign and she appears to be picking up more of the defeated candidates votes than Mordaunt. She is now favourite to run against Sunak in the public vote.

Penny Mordaunt - 11/2


Implied probability of winning : 15%

First round ballot: 67

Second round ballot: 83

Third round ballot: 82

Fourth round ballot: 92

Polling amongst party members 27%

Mordaunt is the current MP for Portsmouth North and the serving Minister of State for Trade Policy. The 49-year-old has emerged as a front runner to become the new Tory Party leader and her odds have reflected that. Coming in from 40/1 last year to as short as 4/6 at some bookmakers at one point. In a recent members poll she was favoured against any other running candidate, so if she does make the final two, her chances of winning will improve massively. A staunch Brexiteer, she has made several controversial comments over the years, including a lie about Turkey joining the EU during the Brexit campaign and suggesting overseas aid would be better spent on a replacement for the Royal Yacht Britannia. Some have compared her to Boris Johnson in a wig. Nice...

Mordaunt has since drifted in the betting after a number of attacks from the Tory rags and her own boss Secretary of State for Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said there had been concerns about Mordaunt's effectiveness in her own job as she had been planning this leadership bid. 


Who has been eliminated?

Kemi Badenoch


First round ballot: 40

Second round ballot: 49

Third round ballot: 58

Fourth round ballot : 59

Polling amongst party members 15%

Badenoch was born in the UK but spent most of her youth in Africa and the USA. The 42-year-old is another hard-line Brexiteer and has been running on an anti-woke platform, waging various culture wars along the way. A favourite amongst certain back-benchers including Michael Gove. Her odds have been closing since announcing to run and while it's unlikely she will win, she could do well in the debates amongst the growing Tory right wing. 

Tom Tugendhat 


First round ballot: 36

Second round ballot: 32

Third round ballot: 31

Polling amongst party members 8%

An ex-military man, Tugendhat is the MP for Tonbridge and Malling and the current Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. The 49-year-old has only been a sitting politician since 2015 and voted to stay in the EU during the Brexit referendum a year later, something that may come back to bite him in his hunt for the top Tory job. 

When asked what the naughtiest thing he had ever done was, he replied: "Invade a country". He was awarded a MBE back in 2010 for his military service. 

Suella Braverman


First round ballot: 32

Second round ballot: 27

Polling amongst party members 5%

Braverman was the first to announce her candidacy and has served as the attorney-general throughout Boris Johnson's premiership. A firm right-winger (aren't they all?) , she has pledged to rip the Northern Ireland protocol up and leave the ECHR. She is another who is running on an anti-woke platform and although she has no chance, will have improved her chances of a bigger job in the future.

Nadhim Zahawi

First round ballot: 25

Polling amongst party members 1%

Jeremy Hunt

First round ballot: 18

Polling amongst party members 4%

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