Brexit Latest: Dominic Raab's appointment to replace Davis caps dramatic morning
Morning of high drama follows David Davis's resignation as Dominic Raab is appointed as the new Brexit Secretary. Will that be the end of the upheaval? Or will we see more resignations today? Max Liu assesses the odds...
"Raab is a Brexiteer, who campaigned for Leave before the referendum of 2016, but his appointment caught bettors by surprise. It was announced at 10:30 on Monday, only an hour after the odds on Chris Grayling getting the job had narrowed from 6/1 to evens."
Dominic Raab has been appointed Brexit Secretary after David Davis announced his resignation late on Sunday night. Davis, who has threatened several times to resign, finally quit the government, saying he could not support Theresa May's plans for a soft exit from the European Union.
Raab comes from nowhere to upset the odds
Raab is a Brexiteer, who campaigned for Leave before the referendum of 2016, but his appointment caught bettors by surprise. It was announced at 10:30 on Monday, only an hour after the odds on Chris Grayling getting the job had narrowed from 6/1 to evens.
Michael Gove was also backed into 2/1. Raab was considered such an outsider for the job that he wasn't even in the five-man market for betting on the Next Brexit Secretary.
His appointment hasn't surprised everyone, though, and it's worth noting that on Betting.Betfair Paul Krishnamurty has long advocated backing Raab as a potential successor to May in the next Conservative leader betting on the Exchange where he's currently [14.5].
Raab's appointment as Davis's successor shows that May still believes that the Brexit secretary must be a Brexiteer.
Will there be more resignations?
Another cabinet minister to resign today is 7/1 on Betfair Sportsbook. Those odds look generous amid turbulence that's engulfing Westminster.
On Friday, Theresa May emerged from her Brexit summit at Chequers, announcing that the cabinet had reached agreement on their Brexit white paper.
Over the weekend, however, there were rumours that the Brexiteers in the cabinet, and on the Tory back benches, were furious about what they see as the government's compromises to Brussels.
Was May surprised by Davis's resignation?
Davis threatened to quit several times. In the history of resignation ditherers, the ex-Brexit secretary is up there with football manager Kevin Keegan and ex-Labour MP Clare Short. So it's likely that May was planning for this eventuality, hence the quick appointment of Davis' successor.
Two of the ministers who worked in Davis's Brexit department have resigned with him. Other Tory MPs criticised Davis, as he left the government. As for the man himself, Davis said this morning that he wants May to stay on as PM.
So far, Boris Johnson has said nothing about Davis's resignation. If Johnson or Gove were to follow Davis out of the cabinet, then that would probably bring down the government. Johnson is 2/1 to be the next cabinet minister to resign.
Does this make a snap general election more likely?
We're still a long way from a situation where the PM would need to call a general election. That could change fast, though, and a general election in 2018 is trading at 6/4 (a 40% chance) on Sportsbook.
On the Exchange, meanwhile, bettors aren't convinced and still make 2022 [2.92] the favourite to be the year when Britons next head to the polls.
But these are unpredictable times, as the drama of the last 12 hours have proved, and political bettors and commentators alike are racing to keep with events.