Next Prime Minister Betting Odds – June 2019
June 11, 2019
It finally happened; May is gone, June is here, and with that comes a new batch of fresh-faced Etonian hopefuls lining up outside Number 10. Each will be looking to impose their own brand of crushing ineptitude on the country, but only one will emerge victorious.
Whoever it is, I’m sure it will be a good choice. After all, what better example of democracy is there than 100,000 conservative members electing a new leader, who will oversee the execution of an (allegedly) illegal referendum that might destroy the economy.
Now, as a political nihilist, I don’t particularly think anyone in power can ever do a stellar job really. However, the current crop of conservative candidates might just be the worst selection I’ve ever seen. Genuinely, there are names here who have worse records than Roque Santa Cruz’ City career. While many have put themselves forward, we’re only going to look at the best (or worst) of the bunch, and beside each name we’ve put the Next Prime Minister betting odds.
Chris Grayling – 250/1 with SportNation
I’ll be honest, I have an unhealthy obsession with Chris Grayling. I am constantly fascinated by his ability to fail without consequence. It’s not even in one field either, there is a real variety to Grayling’s endless list of fuck ups. Honestly, I could write an entire piece on this man’s political career. He is affectionately referred to as ‘Failing Grayling’ by peers and journalists alike, a nickname that has followed him all the way to the States. His cockroach-like prowess for clinging onto power is legendary, even earning him his own op-ed in the New York Times. It’s not hard to see why either, there is plenty of material to write about.
Let’s start with his recent post as Secretary of Transport, which is best characterised by this video. There have been a number of highlights in his time here, but the best was the Brexit ferry farce. Basically, Grayling secretly negotiated an £18 million contract with a company called Seaborne to provide extra ferries after Brexit. The only problem? Seaborne didn’t actually have any ferries, so the contract was scrapped. Because the negotiations were held in secret, Eurotunnel complained that it was excluded from the bidding process unfairly, and the government was forced to pay £33 million to settle their lawsuit.
According to a report from Labour, Grayling has approximately cost the UK economy around £2.7 billion since becoming a minister. How has he managed to survive then? It is a simple case of being in the right place at the right time. The effects of Brexit led to May having few allies within her own government, we’re seeing the legacy of this now, and Grayling fit a perfect niche for her. He was totally loyal and a staunch advocate of Brexit, without any of the far-right fascist stuff. Grayling is like a diluted Boris or Gove; all the horrible policies and gaffes with no threat of seriously challenging for power. He is the Bud Light of British politics.
Esther McVey – 100/1 with Ladbrokes
Chronic lying and incompetence seem to be a bit of a theme, but McVey takes the crown for utter idiocy. Sure, the Grayling’s of the world have done far worse in terms of actual policy, but McVey is on another level. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone with such an aptitude for being wrong all the time. Seriously, it’s quite impressive. She also has a cracking repertoire of quotes too, which I shall dispense sporadically throughout.
Just how a city with Liverpool’s history and culture could produce an entity like McVey is a mystery. The MP herself said she was ‘special’ in this aspect and, to be honest, that’s about the kindest way I can think to describe her. So far, her leadership campaign has consisted of questioning the presence of LGBTQ education in schools and vowing to take hundreds of thousands of people off of disability allowance, based on the solid logic that ‘bodies heal’.
Whenever I hear an interview from McVey, I get this overwhelming urge to bang my head against a wall. Whether it’s calling the rise of food banks ‘positive’ and ‘expected’ or comparing claimants to school children, McVey is near universally disliked and would be a shock appointment for me. Having said that, it is a sad indictment of British politics when she is one of the front runners.
Rory Stewart – 28/1 with Betfred
I actually quite like what I’ve seen from Rory Stewart. There is a refreshing refusal from him to rely on generic soundbites like ‘believe in the country’ and, out of all the candidates, his pragmatism makes him the most appealing option.
Then he released a video of him speaking to the public on twitter that made me do a 180. It wasn’t really anything to do with what he said, but rather that he pretended to hold the phone for the entire video. I don’t know whether there was someone behind the camera directing him on how to appear human, or if he just thought ‘better make this look authentic’. Either way, it’s wrongun behaviour. A definite outsider.
Jeremy Hunt – 9/1 with Unibet
Apart from becoming a very amusing piece of cockney rhyming slang, Hunt has a few other milestones in his career. First appearing in the national spotlight during the heights of the Tory- Lib Dem coalition (those were the days), Hunt quickly made a name for himself as the Minister for the Olympics, overseeing the 2012 games to widespread acclaim. However, he was later named Secretary of State for Health and he didn’t exactly get the same response to his work there.
Hunt is kind of like the prototype Grayling, he was making awful gaffes before it was cool. From accidently leaking confidential patient records, to claiming 24p in travel expenses and referring to his Chinese wife as Japanese. Yes, he’s been around for a while and is proof that experience isn’t necessarily indicative of talent. It’s not like Hunt is without public recognition though, as he has in fact been awarded a trophy from the masses before; a gold encrusted phallus for winning Dick of the Year in 2016.
Hunt has been quietly carrying on with his leadership campaign and is quite fancied in the running. It seems weird to give a NAP for the next Prime Minister, but I actually reckon Hunt has a decent chance. He might lack the notoriety of Boris or Raab, but this could play into his favour as there is a large conservative base crying out for a more serious candidate. His past inadequacies have largely been forgotten due to the absolute shitshow that followed them. For the first time in a while, it might be worth backing Hunt here.
Dominic Raab – 25/1 with Betfair
This man is the political equivalent of a BMW; looks good, is a smooth operator but pop the hood and all you’ll find is an unreliable mess outdated by about three decades. There is a wonderful video online detailing each and every example of Raab’s total lack of awareness. One example of many was when the then Brexit secretary said he hadn’t realised the importance of the Dover Calais border for UK trade (cue internal screaming). In typical fashion, Raab’s response was to simply block the twitter user who had made it, citing it as harassment.
Raab seems to actively seek the role of pantomime villain, such as the time he labelled calls for disability improvements a ‘childish wish list’. Where the others try to hide the downright awfulness of their policies and ideologies, Raab is more than happy to let everyone know how big a dick he is. He’s one of the frontrunners, so don’t be surprised if you see Raab spouting his bile outside Number 10 at some point.
Michael Gove – 11/2 with BoyleSports
Michael Gove really, really wants to be Prime Minister. After repeatedly refuting this over the course of the Brexit referendum, instead pledging his support to Boris Johnson, Gove ‘shocked’ everyone by announcing a leadership bid right at the last. He outlined that he no longer thought his colleague would be able to form a stable government and that he would be the better pick. Drama to say the least.
Gove obviously denied that he had stabbed his former friend in the back, but the treachery was pretty undeniable. It was quite amusing watching him try to spin the story, even more so when his actions ended up destroying both his and Johnson’s chances. Can you imagine the conversation when the two of them walked in as members of May’s cabinet? I reckon it might have been a bit awkward.
He’s considered one of the favourites, but I’d be very surprised if he actually became the next PM – 11/2 in the Next Prime Minister betting odds, though – wow. Gove has a certain pathetic quality that makes it impossible to imagine him running the country. I can’t actually believe he’s made it this far. He’s got the personality of a wet flannel and the charisma of a slug, only he’s twice as slimy.
Boris Johnson – 4/5 with Black Type
There’s a weird thing in the world of politics where the most odious officials often have the worst haircuts. Trump has his orangutan-esque mop and Kim Jong-Un has whatever that is on his head. Don’t worry though lads, Britain has its own champion in the form of Boris Johnson. When not suspended in mid-air via zipline or wiping out children in a charity rugby match, he can be found writing diplomatically problematic columns in the Telegraph.
The most worrying thing about Boris for me is that people look at his bumbling inability and find it funny. It is sometimes, but this comical side has led some to think of him as harmless, which he most certainly isn’t. When he mistakenly stated Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been teaching journalists in Iran, after not even bothering to read the brief, she was given new charges and has been in an Iranian prison ever since. Boris’ brand of reckless buffoonery has real consequences, even if he refuses to admit it.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, Boris is one of, if not the favourite for the top job. His stance on issues like Brexit have garnered him a lot of support amongst conservative members, who see him as a moderate alternative (Ha!). It’s no secret he wants it either, as Johnson has repeatedly flip flopped on issues when he’s thought there was something to gain. This seems like a tale years in the making, and I think it might be a fairy tale ending for Boris, even if that might be horror story for the rest of us.
The worst bit about this entire scenario is that, even if the field was open to all the parties, there aren’t that many candidates who don’t have some serious doubts attached. In the short term, we’re almost certain to have a clueless head of state, and I’m sure there will be more mind-numbing mistakes in the years to come. For now though, let’s console ourselves with the high quality memes this mess has given us, and maybe even a cheeky bet.
Cyrus has been writing about sports and many other topics for major publications over the past five years. Now working in digital marketing, he spends his days arguing over football and dreaming of his beloved Manchester City winning the champions league.