Politics Odds: SNP reveal roadmap but IndyRef2 odds-against before 2025

  • Max Liu
  • 5:00 min read
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon's SNP look set to win a comfortable majority in May

Get the latest politics odds as Nicola Sturgeon reveals the SNP's referendum roadmap and Boris Johnson talks to new US president Joe Biden, reports Max Liu...

"Johnson believes the referendum of 2014, when Scots voted 55-45% to stay in the union, settled the matter and that's why no referendum before 2025 remains odds-on, albeit narrowly."

No referendum on Scottish independence before 2025 is 1.910/11 on the Exchange after the Scottish National Party revealed their road map for a vote within the next few years.

It says a "legal referendum" on independence will be held after the pandemic if there is a pro-independence majority at Holyrood following May's Scottish elections. A poll last week forecast that the SNP would win 72 seats, that would comfortably give them the 65 needed for a majority.

The Scottish government would request from the UK government a section 30 order which allows Holyrood to pass laws normally reserved to Westminster. It would then pass a bill through the Scottish parliament allowing a referendum.

The most likely year for that would be 2022, although the odds show that bettors are not confident it will happen at 4.77/2.

On the Sportsbook you can get even odds on Scotland voting Yes to independence at the next referendum.

If Boris Johnson gets his way that won't come into play for some time though. He has vowed to reject a request for a referendum and claimed there should be no new vote for 40 years.

Johnson believes the referendum of 2014, when Scots voted 55-45% to stay in the union, settled the matter and that's why no referendum before 2025 remains odds-on, albeit narrowly.

Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon.jpg

Supporters of independence point to Brexit - the fact that Scotland voted 62% to remain in the European Union - and claim the country was taken out of the EU against its will. They also argue that Sturgeon's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic has been better than the UK government's.

Speaking to Andrew Marr today Sturgeon said Johnson was "frightened of democracy". She added that she saw no reason why the elections, scheduled for 6 May, should be delayed due to the pandemic.

She said: "It's about what the people of Scotland want and the increasing evidence is that they want independence."

Sturgeon's claim is backed up by several polls since last summer which have shown a majority in favour of independence. The latest for Panelbase was consistent with this, although it indicates there are still enough undecided's to tip the balance in favour of remaining in the union.

Today the Sunday Times' Tim Shipman reports growing support for similar referendums to be held in Wales and Northern Ireland. In the Sportsbook's "Next country to hold a referendum without Scotland" market, Northern Ireland is 1/3.

Odds shorten on UK for Biden's first trip

The UK is 5/2 to receive Joe Biden for his first foreign visit after the new US president called Johnson on Saturday.

The prime minister took the call on Saturday night and became the first European leader to do so. He claimed afterwards the UK and US would work together on a green and sustainable recovery from the pandemic.

Ireland had been the favourite to receive Biden first, due to his ancestral roots there, but its drifted to 4/1 for the first Biden visit.

With Donald Trump now out of office the Exchange market on his second impeachment is open. The US congress voted to impeach Trump and proceedings have moved to the Senate which is 5.49/2 to convict the former-president.

Jeremy Hunt, meanwhile, this weekend said he hasn't given up his ambitions to lead the Conservative Party. The former-health secretary came second to Johnson in the leadership contest of 2019.

Hunt, who sits on the Tory backbenches and chairs the parliamentary health select committee, is increasingly vocal in his criticisms of the government's pandemic response. On the Exchange he is 9.08/1 to be next Tory leader behind chancellor Rishi Sunak 3.55/2.

UK - Referendums: UK - Referendums (Year of Next Scottish Ind. Referendum)

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Tuesday 31 December, 11.59pm

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