The price on the Conservatives winning another majority at the next general election drifted after Boris Johnson broke his 2019 Conservative manifesto pledge by increasing national insurance tax.
The prime minister took a big gamble this week by increasing national insurance tax to pay for health and social care reform.
It flies in the face of his party's 2019 election promise not to raise VAT, income tax or national insurance and, for many Tory backbenchers and commentators, it is a betrayal of the party's traditions. It is supposed to be an iron-clad rule of UK politics that the Conservative party is opposed to tax rises.
The early reaction in the polls and the betting indicates that it could cost them next time Britons elect their government.
No over all majority at the next general election is 2.26/5 while a Tory majority is out to 2.466/4. The price on a Labour majority is a distant 7.613/2.
The Tories are still clear favourites to win the most seats at 1.4640/85 but there was good news for Labour 3.259/4 in this weekend's polling which gave them their first lead since January.
Opinium put the two main parties level while others showed the Conservatives ahead by one to four points.
Latest odds on an early election
The year of next general election betting remains an interesting market with speculation this week that Johnson will go to the country earlier than the scheduled May 2024 date.
Bettors remain convinced that the next election will be in 2024, making it 1.574/7 on the Exchange.
I've long felt 2023 was a decent shout and plenty of people agree as it has shortened to 2.915/8.
There are reports, however, that Johnson could go for a 2022 general election as he tries to avoid his chances of victory being damaged by the findings of a public inquiry into his government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. It's a big price at 15.5.
Reports this weekend talk up the possibility of Johnson serving as Tory leader for over a decade in a bid to surpass Margaret Thatcher's 11 years in power He is 1.768/11 to remain as Conservative leader until 2024 or later.
Starmer's popularity continues to fall
Johnson won't like what he sees in this weekend's polls even though Labour are a long way from being ready to fight a general election. This weekend, the former-shadow chancellor John McDonnell criticised Keir Starmer for failing to offer clear alternatives to the Tories.
McDonnell's critics will say Starmer needn't listen to the man who masterminded Labour's disastrous result at the last election. It was interesting to see McDonnell saying, however, that one of Labour's mistakes in 2019 was that they had to rush out too many policies in the build up to election day. He urged Starmer's team to get theirs out soon so that the electorate have time to digest what the party are offering.
The Labour conference later this month will be a big moment for Starmer's leadership. He is 1.511/2 to remain as leader until 2024 or later with a 2022 exit 5.69/2 and 2023 3.613/5.
Those dates are connected to the date of the next general election, although it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Starmer will continue as leader if Labour lose the election but regain a decent chunk of the seats they lost two years ago. He leadership is often compared to that of Neil Kinnock who lead Labour to defeat in 1987 and stayed on to lose again in 1992.
That said, some alarming polling for Starmer shows how the Labour leader's popularity has fallen in 2021 and his critics will point to it as evidence that the party are on an inexorable slide:
Andy Burnham 4.216/5 is the favourite to succeed Starmer while deputy leader Angela Rayner 9.417/2 could also be in contention for the top job.
Scholz shortens again in next German chancellor betting
The chances of Olaf Scholz becoming Germany's next chancellor after the federal election on 26 September increased to over 71% this week.
Scholz is 1.42/5 with Armin Laschet, who was favourite for several months, trading at 3.711/4 with a fortnight to go until polling day.
Laschet, who is standing for Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats, has spent the past few months blowing a winning position and a remarkable poll this week showed Scholz's SPD pulling away.
The SPD have shortened to 1.292/7 to win the most seats at the election while the CDU are out to 3.953/1 - an astonishing state of affairs considering the SPD were 9.417/2 on the Exchange less than a month ago.
Scholz is SPD finance minister in Merkel's ruling "grand coalition". This week prosecutors made a dramatic raid on his finance ministry, as part of an investigation into the government's anti-money laundering agency. It was seen as a potential game-changer in the election but so far Scholz's popularity looks to have held up.
There are two weeks to go and everything to play for.