In case you didn’t know, I have been drinking lots of tea, smoking Parliaments, and calling the garbage can “the bin” for the last week to get ready for some gambling on the upcoming election in the United Kingdom. I have also been on the phone with some genius friends of the blog (FOBs), like Curt Mills, Washington editor of The Spectator, which is a British magazine that specializes in right-of-center culture and commentary, to learn how this strange country chooses its leadership. Thank you to Curt and the other FOBs who lit me up to talk about this election.
For background, check out our primer on the race and Brexit here. But to summarize quickly: three year ago, the UK voted to leave the European Union. But because Parliament has acted like a bunch of ninnies and smacked down every plan to execute a Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May is resigning effective 7 June. This is setting off an election for Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party in the UK. It also means that gamblers are having a rollicking good time in this market:
The candidate that everyone is the most fired-up about is Boris Johnson. He is crushing the field in polling and is one of the best known politicians in the world thanks to the many years he has spent being Mayor of London, serving as a Member of Parliament, acting as British Foreign Secretary, writing for newspapers and magazines, and giving more tube to London’s female population than the Underground.
On the down side, Johnson is not well liked inside of Parliament due to his love of showboating and all the action he gets on the side. By that I also mean the huge salaries he’s gotten paid for media gigs while in office. This is a big problem for Johnson because the Conservative Party basically selects its leadership the same way that college football selects a champion. In order to get to the big game, a very sketchy and un-transparent group of insiders has to pick you first. In college football, this is the Selection Committee, which regularly bones frontrunners like Ohio State and Georgia. In the Conservative Party, it is fellow Members of Parliament, whose top two internal picks for PM advance to the actual election. Their process can be a huge boner killer for brand name pols, as Johnson himself learned in 2016.
I personally think that old BJ agrees with me 100 percent and has been studying Nick Saban and Alabama football for months to prepare for this summer’s election.
I know this because (1) BJ is an American citizen, so he obviously watches real football; and (2) Johnson has been playing a punishing SEC schedule to be sure that he gets into the playoffs. He has won two terms as London mayor and has been Foreign Secretary during Brexit, which is the political equivalent of beating LSU and Georgia on the road, but losing to Auburn in one of those mud bowl games inside of a literal hurricane. That is just fine though because Johnson’s non-conference schedule is strong AF, given that outside of politics he has been one of the UK’s most visible media figures and sex givers for years.
However, BJ is not a classic SEC coach in one sense: he is much more offensive minded. Johnson actually has a long history of offending basically everyone. He has also been running up the score in the polls and is multiples ahead of his closest Tory competition when it comes to public support. I think that this is because Johnson knows that his only vulnerability is fellow MPs, who would love to hand the ball off to Michael Gove, Domic Raab and/or Rory Stewart just to keep his offense off the field. But by campaigning directly with the public and crushing his rivals in the polls, Johnson is daring Conservative MPs to cuck him. He knows that if MPs don’t let him advance to the election, then the public will think that voting is bogus and the Conservative Party is run by losers. I guess that maybe means he is a Big 12 coach and not Nick Saban, since his only plan for defense is to skip it entirely and just score more points than the other guys, who are playing a more conservative style.
Whatever the case, it is safe to say that Boris Johnson’s campaign is a death machine. The only thing that can stop it is a totally savage backroom deal in Parliament where Conservative MPs agree to back some B-list candidates just to keep his name off the ballot. I would say there is a 25 percent chance this happens. Remember, those slippery Brits carved-up the Middle East in a backroom, so why wouldn’t they carve-up BJ too?
However, if and when this election advances to Conservative voters with Johnson’s name on the ticket, it is very hard to see how any candidate could catch up to him. He basically has a name ID and favorability advantage that compares to Joe Biden in the Dem Primary, except that these contests happen on a much faster timeline, usually within 8-12 weeks of the current Leader’s resignation. That is just not much time for polls to shift. So let’s say 15 percent chance he loses the actual election.
So at 65 cents this market is priced almost right. Now it is time to see who has the bollocks to play. I personally am going to see if I can get in just a little bit cheaper so that I can day trade out of my position if I lose me marbles.
KEENDAWG, DUKE OF ALPHA.