Bettors back Conservative to lose 200+ seats
Badenoch favourite to succeed Sunak as leader
The Conservatives are heading for disaster at the next general election and could lose more than 200 seats, according to the latest Betfair Exchange odds.
As Rishi Sunak makes his first conference speech as Tory leader, the betting indicates that the party is heading for electoral meltdown next year, when Britons go to the polls.
A Labour majority is 1.528/15 while the chances of a Tory majority look slim at 10.519/2 on the Betfair Exchange. A hung parliament is 4.03/1.
The Conservatives won an 80-seat majority under Boris Johnson's leadership at the last general election in 2019. But their polling nosedived following the partygate scandal and their inability to solve Britain's cost of living crisis, which was exacerbated by Liz Truss's chaotic and short-lived premierhip, means they look to leave office at the next election.
How many seats will the Conservatives lose?
The market on how many seats the Conservatives will lose is new, so is currently taking shape, but the biggest projected Tory losses already have the shortest odds. At the moment, it looks like they could lose upwards of 200 seats.
Sunak has provided stability but failed to revive his party's fortunes since he succeeded Truss as leader and PM in October last year. Polling indicates that the more the public see of Sunak the less they like him.
The Betfair Exchange markets indicate that the next general election is Labour's to lose and it could be a case of damage limitation for the Tories.
If they are defeated then Sunak will almost certainly be replaced as leader.
Kemi Badenoch 4.57/2 is the favourite to succed him, while Penny Mordaunt 6.05/1 and Suella Braverman 9.417/2 are the other leading candidates in the Betfair Exchange market.
Punters back record Tory losses
Betfair Spokesperson Sam Rosbottom, who is in Manchester to cover the Conservative Party conference, said:
"We've taken a number of bets on the Tories to lose a record number of seats, with punters backing them to lose 201 or more at 5/2, which is a 29% chance.
"Those odds could be set to move further with the upcoming Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election, with Labour looking to gain ground in Scotland. Starmer's party are the overwhelming favourites."
For the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election, which takes place on Thursday, Labour are 1.05 to win and the SNP, who won the seat at the last general election, are out to 17.5.
Read Rutherglen and Hamilton West By-Election Preview: A comfortable win for Labour