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Politics Betting: Corbyn under pressure to back second Brexit referendum

Corbyn's leadership has been sustained by Labour's grassroots
Corbyn's leadership has been sustained by Labour's grassroots
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With Labour members reportedly wanting a second Brexit referendum, is it time for Jeremy Corbyn to give his backing to the idea? Meanwhile, Theresa May is in denial about the NHS and Donald Trump describes himself as a "stable genius." Max Liu reports on the week in politics and how the markets have reacted...

"Labour have resisted calls to support a second referendum and leader Jeremy Corbyn dismissed the idea outright last month. This is one reason why a second referendum on Brexit this year is [11.0] and [4.1] before 2020."

Tony Blair believes Labour's risks becoming the "handmaiden of Brexit". The UK is [2.02] to leave the European Union by 29 March 2017 - the original deadline set out when Article 50 was triggered last year - and Blair remains convinced that Brexit will be disastrous and that Labour should support a second referendum on the terms of the final deal.

So far, Labour have resisted calls to support a second referendum and leader Jeremy Corbyn dismissed the idea outright last month. This is one reason why a second referendum on Brexit this year is [11.0] and [4.1] before 2020.

However, while Blair's opposition to Brexit is hardly news, a survey published this week by the Mile End institute claims that 78% of Labour members want a second referendum. Support for a second referendum is even stronger among SNP and Lib Dems at 87 and 91% respectively. Only 14% of Tories think voters should get the final say on the Brexit deal.

If the results of the survey reflect reality then Corbyn might have to rethink his position on the second referendum, especially as his leadership has been dependent upon support from Labour's base. Blair and Labour members are rarely in agreement, so their unity on this issue reminds us that Brexit has unique and unpredictable implications for British politics.

In 2017, Corbyn wisely "parked" the issue of Brexit during the general election campaign and won support from Remain voters of all backgrounds. However, in 2018, with Brexit theoretically only a year away, Corbyn must establish a definitive position and put clear distance between Labour and the Conservatives. Otherwise, he might lose his supporters as quickly as he attracted them.


May sorry but not sorry

Theresa May's survivor schtick is tedious and, on Sunday morning, the PM was busy brazening out questions about the crisis in the NHS. May was apologetic about the cancellation of operations, although she maintained the government wasn't to blame. So what was the PM apologising for? May also revealed that there will be no vote on fox hunting in this Parliament - contrary to the Conservatives' manifesto pledge last year.

Asked by Marr if she'll lead the Tories into next election, May reiterated: "I'm not a quitter." May is [1.57] to leave office before Brexit is complete. The odds on a general election this year have drifted to [4.5] and the prospect of Britons not going to the polls until 2022 is the new favourite [2.88].


Will Fire and Fury bring down Trump?

May's mantra about not being a quitter has an unfortunate echo of President Richard Nixon's line: "I'm not a crook." Nixon was a crook and left office in 1974 as the only president to resign mid-term. Ever since his inauguration last year, commentators have wondered if Donald Trump will emulate Nixon.

As reported on Friday, the latest drama around the president concerns a book - Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff - which reports that Trump didn't intend to win the 2016 election and only stood for office because he wanted to get his own TV channel, that his White House is in chaos and that Steve Bannon regards meetings held between Trump's son, Donald Jnr, and Russians as "treasonous".

Trump has continued to criticise the book across the weekend, calling it a work of fiction and describing himself as a "stable genius". Can a man who calls himself a genius can be considered stable?


Wolff says: "My book will bring down the president." But Bettors aren't convinced. On Friday, when Fire and Fury was published, Trump was [2.06] to leave office before completing a full term. Today, the price has drifted slightly to [2.1].


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