Boris Johnson Odds: Price shortens on 2021 exit amid wallpapergate

  • Max Liu
  • 3:00 min read
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson outside 10 Downing Street
Who paid for the Downing St flat refurb?

The odds on Boris Johnson leaving this year shortened amid allegations about Tory sleaze, the Downing Street flat refurbishment and comments about lockdown, reports Max Liu...

"Interestingly, the Tories are 1.584/7 to win next week's Hartlepool by-election from Labour 2.6813/8."

The Betfair Exchange odds on Boris Johnson leaving office this year shortened on Wednesday morning as allegations mounted against the prime minister.

Johnson is 3.211/5 to leave in 2021 - in from 4.67/2 on Tuesday - as he comes under increasing pressure on several fronts.

The price on Johnson staying on until 2024 - the year when the next general election is scheduled to take place - drifted to around evens (a 50/50 chance), while a successive Tory majority is out to 2.56/4.

The Electoral Commission announced today that it would launch an inquiry into the refurbishment of the Downing Street flat.

This followed claims the prime minister was given a £58,000 loan from a Tory donor and peer to help foot the bill for redecorations.

Johnson had insisted he met all costs of the makeover "personally", and that no party funds were used, but the Commission is not convinced.

On social media they're calling it #wallpapergate and, while it may sound trivial, the movement in the betting today suggests punters think it could damage the PM.

Interestingly, the Tories are 1.584/7 to win next week's Hartlepool by-election from Labour 2.6813/8.

But there is a mounting sense that the government is in trouble.

At the weekend, Johnson's former adviser Dominic Cummings claimed the prime minister revealed his "plans to have donors secretly pay for the renovation".

The prime minister was accused this week of saying he would rather see "bodies pile high" than take the country into a third lockdown over Covid-19 - a claim Cummings could corroborate at an inquiry.

Johnson has also been accused of making special tax arrangement for James Dyson. Then there's the ongoing Greensill scandal, involving former prime minister David Cameron and chancellor Rishi Sunak - the current favourite to succeed Johnson at 3.55.

It adds up to a sense that Johnson is losing control of his premiership and bettors, although slow to react at first, have been persuaded to put money on him leaving sooner than expected.

UK - Party Leaders: UK - Party Leaders (Exit Dates - Boris Johnson)

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Tuesday 31 December, 11.59pm

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