U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is all but out the door of No. 10, though bets on his successor aren’t as sure of a thing, yet.
The country’s media outlets such as the BBC expect his resignation to come soon on Thursday, speculation that was driving gains for the British pound GBPUSD, +0.79%, which has lost ground in recent days over political uncertainty.
Despite resisting calls to go, Johnson has found himself unable to recover from a revolt this week as dozens of aides and ministers quit over a string of ethics scandals. That rush to the exit began with Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who quit on Wednesday.
Thursday found even Johnson’s newly appointed Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi telling him to go in a letter posted to social media.
As for his replacements, Penny Mourdant, trade minister, appeared to be in the lead, according to bookmaker Betfair. Note, the BBC reported that Johnson will resign as Conservative leader, but continue as prime minister until autumn, with a campaign to replace him expected this summer and a new leader ready in time for the October Tory party conference.
On Thursday, Betfair was putting Mourdant’s odds at 5/1, followed by Sunak at 6/1, then Defence Minister Ben Wallace, 13/2, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, 8/1 and Javid, 9/1. Farther afield bets include 10/1 odds for Zahawi getting the job, 13/1 for Jeremy Hunt, member of parliament, 15/1 for Tom Tugendhat, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and 21/1 odds for Michael Gove, housing secretary who was sacked after he advised Johnson to step down.
“With Boris Johnson set to resign as Prime Minister today, Penny Mordaunt is the 5/1 favorite to replace him as Conservative leader, with Rishi Sunak 6/1. However, odds on Ben Wallace to succeed Johnson have been slashed to 13/2 from 9/1 overnight, while Liz Truss is 8/1. Looking at when the next General Election could be, 2024 or later is odds-on at 1/3, with 2023 4/1 and 2022 8/1,” said Betfair spokesman Sam Rosbottom.