Some people think that British Prime Minister Theresa May is boring. I personally think that she is the spitting image of an English postmaster who can make an awesome rhubarb pie. That said, gambling on her IS extremely boring. That is because PredictIt’s market on how long she can last as Prime Minister is a straight numbers play.
To get into this, let’s review the rules of the 1922 Committee, which is in charge of Conservative Party Leadership elections and is definitely not named for the average birth year of Tories. Here are the three steps:
(1) Conservative MPs who want to be Prime Minister “stand for election,” and their colleagues second their nomination (unless they are total losers).
(2) Conservative MPs vote on these nominees and whittle the field down to two.
(3) Average Joe party members nationwide vote on which of the finalists gets the job.
Let’s look at some proprietary SSG research on how long this process takes. Here are timelines for all of the Tory elections since the party adopted the current election rules:
As you can see, in an extreme case, Parliament only needs four weeks to whittle down the field, but just as frequently, Conservative MPs get the job down in two weeks or less. That makes it a pretty sure thing that Parliament will choose its finalists by June 30, since Theresa May is stepping down on the 7th. However, Stage 3, where Average Joe party members get to cast their votes, can drag-out for weeks. A lot of boneheaded traders already know that and are thinking it is a slam dunk that this election goes into July, if not August. However, they are ignoring another a key fact, because historically, Average Joes never even get to vote about half the time. This is because Parliament just pulls an inside job and has everyone quit except for the guy (or gal) they want to win. This person is then acclaimed because he/she is “unopposed” and Average Joe is deprived of his right to vote.
I personally don’t understand how the British people stand for this and would have a Tea Party on the spot to protest it if I could. But I guess that is just the freedom-loving American in me standing up for the oppressed people of England, who are so poor that they can’t even afford watches and have to look at this building to tell the time.
And these rocks to know what month it is–
And who still ride around in horses and buggies because they are too broke to drive.
Maybe one day they will have enough money to buy households items like a watch, a calendar, and a car; but until they do, I highly doubt they will be able to buy their government like Americans do.
So really, this bet is asking whether or not we are going to see a contested election. The only way we won’t is if Boris Johnson absolutely nukes his peers in the Parliament ballots and everyone just quits out of fear. I do not think this will happen because Boris Johnson is a radioactive guy who has been contaminated by sex scandals, profiteering, and having a generally terrible haircut.
Also, I assume that rank-and-file MPs resent him because he is more relevant than they are. The fact of the matter is that legislative bodies are the opposite of high schools. They are places where the ugly girls gang-up to absolutely wreck the pretty ones, like Johnson. Regina George would not last a day in British Parliament or the U.S. Congress. She would have to pull a Paul Ryan and just keep a low profile for years until she could use her youth and good looks to seduce someone powerful like Mitt Romney. So long story short, I am not bullish on Boris Johnson cornering this race early on. I think it probably goes to the election stage and gives Average Joes weeks to consider who they want to select. I will give Johnson a 25 percent chance of knocking out his competitors before the election stage; and I will give a 0 percent chance to any of the betas beneath him in the polls (Michael Gove, Rory Stewart, Andrea Leadsom, etc.) doing that either.
I think this should be a 75/25 market, favouring Theresa May still being PM on June 30. I realize I am being pretty picky about not gambling on it in the mid-80s, but UK politics is a total away game for me, so I am not trying to get Dunkirk’ed. That would be rubbish.
KEENDAWG, EARL OF GAMING.