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Next Prime Minister Odds: Sunak back into hot favourite after the debates

Next Prime Minister Odds: Rishi Sunak has steamed back into the favourite after the poor performance of some of his rivals in the debate
Next Prime Minister Odds: Rishi Sunak has steamed back into the favourite after the poor performance of some of his rivals in the debate

After another crazy few weeks in politics that finally saw the end of the reign of Boris Johnson, we've asked our man Adam Roberts to look into exactly who could replace him, the process involved in electing a new leader and all the latest odds.  

*this is a constantly fluctuating market so all odds are subject to change and the article will be updated when contenders are eliminated from the race

Latest news:

Oooh it's all getting a little bit personal isn't it? The 2nd leadership debate saw tensions rise and personal attacks take place. It mainly seemed to be everyone against Rishi Sunak, mainly on tax cuts and the economy in general. This seems to have benefited the former Chancellor in the betting, who has flown back into hot favourite, as a poor performance from Penny Mordaunt seems to have affected her badly dropping from 4/6 out to 5/2. Kemi Badenoch was generally seen as an impressive performer and has also shortened in the betting to around 10/1. She is now seen as a legitimate threat to Truss and Mordaunt as the right-wing candidate to take on Sunak in the public vote. 

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 18th July (Sky News)

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

Penny Mordaunt - 5/2


Implied probability of winning : 28%

First Round Ballot: 67

Second Round Ballot: 83

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. 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...

Rishi Sunak - 11/8


Implied probability of winning : 42%

First round ballot: 88

Second Round Ballot : 101

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 - 10/3


Implied probability of winning : 23%

First round ballot: 50

Second round ballot: 64

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 overnight after defeated rival Suella Braverman pledged here support to the Truss campaign.

The Outsiders

Kemi Badenoch - 11/1


Implied probability of winning : 8.3%

First round ballot: 40

Second round ballot: 49

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 - 100/1


Implied probability of winning : 1%

First round ballot: 36

Second round ballot: 32

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. 

Who dropped out?

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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