The Brits stand a good chance of being called to the polls again before 2017 is done, according to bookmakers, even though voters have already been mustered three times in just over two years.
Irish bookmaker Paddy Power is currently giving even odds for another U.K. general election this year, meaning a 50% chance of it happening.
The oddsmaking comes as the U.K. faces considerable political uncertainty. Last week’s election fiasco, which saw the Conservatives lose their parliamentary majority, cast doubt on Prime Minister Theresa May’s ability to stay in office or govern effectively.
The Queen’s Speech — typically part of the opening of parliament — reportedly has been delayed from its scheduled date of June 19. The move gives May’s Conservatives more time to negotiate with a potential ally, the Democratic Unionist Party, about establishing a loose alliance to allow them to form a new government.
Bookies are also taking bets on who might become the next prime minister. May is seen as in a shaky position as prime minister. George Osborne, formerly Britain’s finance minister, described her on Sunday as a “dead woman walking” and told the BBC the only question is when she will step down.
Foreign secretary Boris Johnson — a prominent Brexit supporter and former London mayor — is the front runner. Paddy Power
is currently giving the Conservative politician 9-4 odds, or a 31% chance, up from a 13% chance late Thursday. Other bookies also have Johnson as favorite, with William Hill giving 5-2 odds and Betway offering 3-1.
Over the weekend, Johnson dismissed reports that he was plotting a leadership bid as “tripe.” But Osborne said his former colleague is “in a permanent leadership campaign.”
Jeremy Corbyn — leader of the opposition Labour Party, which performed better than expected in last week’s vote — gets 10/3 odds, or a 23% chance, from Betfair.
The general election on Thursday followed a June 2016 referendum on exiting the European Union and a May 2015 general election. So what are the odds on another Brexit referendum before 2019? Paddy Power is giving 4-1 odds for that, or a 20% chance.