In what will go down as the shortest term for a prime minister in the UK until now, Liz Truss has confirmed she’s calling it quits. The announcement didn’t come as a surprise, but it means the political betting lines are going to begin to see a flurry of new activity.
UK Prime Minister Liz Truss speaks in front of Parliament. She officially announced her resignation, with new political odds markets lining up the potential replacements. (Image: BBC)
Truss lost authority in her party amid internal criticism. The Conservative leader has become the British Prime Minister with the shortest mandate, at just 45 days, and the fourth head of the British government who has been forced to resign in just over six years.
Truss explained that she will remain in office until a successor is chosen in an internal election of the Conservative Party. This should take place sometime next week, with the temporary leader admitting that she wasn’t up for the challenge of leading the country.
Fifth Time’s The Charm
Graham Brady, who oversees the party’s leadership elections, has signaled that the intention is for a new party leader to be in place by October 31. He said that he spoke with Conservative Party Chairman Jake Berry, and learned that the final vote could occur by October 28.
So far, the Tories have been unable to rally around a successor, according to British media. Brady has left open the possibility of only one candidate running. However, as the member of parliament stated, “If there is only one candidate, then there is only one candidate.”
Earlier today, Smarkets released data that showed there was an 83% chance of someone replacing Truss before the end of the year. In addition, the odds of her leaving this week were 8% yesterday, climbing to 25% this morning. The lines moved very fast from there.
Now, in the wake of the pending departure, familiar faces are returning to the betting lines. Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt top the list, with Sunak’s chances currently at 50%. Mordaunt is a distant second at 28.17%; however, the lines are almost constantly moving.
Sunak previously had a leading position as a potential replacement for former PM Boris Johnson. He lost in the first round against Truss for control of the government, and is back for round two.
Mordaunt is the Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council. She previously served as the Secretary of State for International Development and Secretary of State for Defence under former PM Theresa May.
Johnson is back on the list of potential candidates, as well. Smarkets has his line currently at 14.71%.
UK Instability Continues
The rebellion of the Tories had made continuity at the head of the government virtually impossible. There had been an increasing number of Conservative deputies calling for Truss to resign. She lost her authority after having had to dismantle practically all of her fiscal projects due to the earthquake triggered in the financial markets.
The political crisis deepened after the resignation of Suella Braverman as Minister of the Interior. Almost simultaneously, there was chaos during a parliamentary vote on Wednesday in which dozens of conservative deputies did not comply with the voting process.
Truss, until then Minister of Foreign Affairs, took office on September 6 after winning the internal elections of the Conservative Party. She rode in on a platform of lower taxes, although her strategy to reach that goal fell apart.
There have been calls for a general election, but that isn’t very likely. Smarkets has the chances of that occurring this year at 9%. However, it jumps to 29% for next year.
If there was any chance of gambling reform taking place soon, that likely won’t happen, either. The government has to figure out who it wants to be before it can tackle the issue.
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