UK Politics

UK Politics Latest: Tories facing general election bloodbath after disaster night

Rishi Sunak bites lip
What next for Sunak?

It's been a horror night at the polls for Rishi Sunak's Conservatives and Betfair Exchange punters predict similar disaster at next general election

Betfair Exchange punters are now eyeing Tory bloodbath in the general election with the loss of more than 200 MPs - as the party faces its 'worst performance in the last 40 years'.

As the results of yesterday's local elections continue to seep in across England and Wales, the picture emerging is one of devastation for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

On top of a seismic Labour win in the Blackpool by-election - the seventh parliamentary seat lost during Sunak's premiership - the party is short odds-on to lose at least 500 councillors.

Political scientist Professor Sir John Curtice said the Conservative party is looking at 'one of the worst, if not the worst' performances' in 40 years.

At 10am this morning, the Tories' odds of losing 500 or more seats at the local election were at 1.211/5 on the Betfair Exchange.

Betfair Exchange punters are looking beyond the local elections to the impending national vote.

Tories odds-on to lose and lose heavily

The Tories have a 66% chance of losing more than 200 MPs in the general election. The party currently has 345 MPs.

And a devastating blow dealt by voters today may now force the PM's hand in calling a general election, while anything less could buy the PM a few more months in Number 10.

Sunak has repeatedly refused to name a date for the next general election, as murmurs over his replacement continue to circle Westminster.

A guessing game over when the next general election will be held has been playing out over the last seven days, with reports Sunak would name the date on Monday proving to be false.

The PM has long insisted his "working assumption" would be for a general election in the second half of this year - though he refused to rule out a July vote over the weekend.

However, November remains the punters' favourite at 2.111/10 (47%).

If Sunak goes, Badenoch is the likely replacement

Waiting in the wings is the outspoken Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch, who is the frontrunner to replace Sunak despite rumours of a Tory plot to replace him with Penny Mordaunt.

Badenoch is 4.57/2, a 22% chance, to be the next Conservative leader, while Commons Leader Mordaunt is 6.05/1 (16%) to become the next Conservative leader on the Betfair Exchange today.

Betfair punters are heavily backing a Labour majority at 1.141/7 while party leader Sir Keir Starmer remains the clear favourite to be the next Prime Minister at 1.232/9.

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