Next General Election: Sleaze hits Johnson in polls and betting

  • Max Liu
  • 3:00 min read
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Will Johnson lead the Tories into the next election?

The Tories have endured a disastrous few days amid the fall out from the Owen Paterson affair and they are slipping the polls and betting. Max Liu has the latest odds...

The Conservatives are out to 1.538/15 to win the most seats with Labour 2.915/8. You can get 3/1 on a minority Labour government after the next election.

The odds on the Conservatives winning a majority at the next general election drifted amid the sleaze scandal engulfing Boris Johnson's party.

The latest betting, in line with new polling that showed the Tories losing support, indicates that the events of the last week surrounding former-Tory MP Owen Paterson could cost the party at the ballot box.

The Tories are 2.526/4 to win a majority at the next general election, which is odds-on to be in 2024, and a hung parliament 2.186/5 is the favourite outcome.

The Tories won an 80-seat majority in the 2019 general election, denying them another would amount to a huge achievement for Labour.

The Conservatives are out to 1.538/15 to win the most seats with Labour 2.915/8. You can get 3/1 on a minority Labour government after the next election.

Johnson, who is 1.855/6 to be Conservative leader until 2024 or later, will be alarmed by a poll published on Monday which showed Labour overtaking them.

The polling was done before Westminster erupted last week when Johnson was forced into a humiliating u-turn over his plans to block the suspension from parliament of Paterson who had been convicted of "egregious" breaches of parliamentary lobbying rules.

Paterson subsequently resigned and there will be a by-election in his constituency.

Polling conducted after the scandal started to send shockwaves around Westminster could return even more worrying results for the Conservatives. Today, MPs are debating sleaze, while Labour have called for a further investigation into who funded the renovation of Johnson's flat.

Starmer and Rayner laughing.jpg

Conservative commentators and MPs were angered by the way Johnson allowed the Paterson affair to become a full-blown scandal. Labour leader Keir Starmer called Johnson's attempt to exonerate Paterson "corruption".

So far, the Johnson government has been adept shrugging off criticism and surviving scandal. Everything from Dominic Cummings' trip to Barnard Castle, Dominic Raab's disastrous handling of the withdrawal from Iraq and investigations into Priti Patel at the Home Office have made little impact on the Conservatives' polling.

This latest episode may yet go the same way, fading in voters' memories and becoming little more than the Westminster village storm in a tea-cup that the Tories are eager for it to be.

Alternatively, it could prove to be a tipping point that Labour can exploit, or it may be one of many incidents that undermine voters' faith in Johnson and contribute to a terminal decline in his popularity.

Suddenly, the next general election is no longer a foregone conclusion and Johnson looks vulnerable again, thanks in part to his own complacency.

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