Boris Johnson Is the Betting Favorite to Replace David Cameron as British PM

The Brexit vote is history. 72% of all voters in the United Kingdom were asked to answer this question in a referndum on Thursday: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

The British exit or “Brexit” vote split the UK elites from many working class voters, while it blurred the party lines. The “Leave” proposition beat the “Remain” option by a 51.8% to 48.1% margin, in a major political upset. That means the UK is likely to leave the European Union, with untold consequences. Most experts and most gamblers assumed that voters in the United Kingdom would vote to remain in the European Union.

David Cameron Resigns as Prime Minister

The upset was so great that British Prime Minister David Cameron announced at his post-vote press conference that he was resigning as the PM, effective in three months. The Conservative Party thus is going to have a new leader, who will step into Cameron’s role as the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

When a prime minister was reelected with a big majority only a year ago has to resign, it is a surreal moment in world history and British politics. Despite that fact, the Irish sportsbook, Paddy Power, always has propositions bets on the next British prime minister. The controversial former London mayor, Boris Johnson, is the favorite to lead the Tories and the British government.

Boris Johnson: Leader of the “Leave” Proponents

While UKIP’s leader, Nigel Farage, received a lot of the media coverage in the run-up to the Brexit vote, it was Boris Johnson who was the key figure. The former London mayor was the leading member of the Conservative Party to support the “Leave” vote, meaning he is best-positioned to replace David Cameron in office.

It is a wild proposition, because Boris Johnson has been compared to American presidential candidate, Donald Trump. Like Trump, Boris Johnson has ridden a wave of anti-immigrant feelings to the precipice of national power. Like Trump, Boris Johnson can be described as a nationalist, though he is a significant figure in his country’s chief conservative party.

Also like Trump, Boris Johnson has an idiosyncratic hairstyle — in this case a fashionably unkempt shock of blond hair. And like Trump, Boris Johnson has received tremendous criticism from members of his own party.

Conservative Critics of Boris Johnson

Sayeeda Warsi, a conservative member of the House of Lords, is one of those critics. The Baroness Warsi characterized Johnson’s Brexit stance as based on a series of lies and misrepresentations, saying, “Are we prepared to tell lies, to spread hate and xenophobia just to win a campaign? For me that’s a step too far.

Despite the criticism, Boris Johnson seems to be the natural choice to be the next British Prime Minister. As David Cameron said in his resignation speech, the people of the UK have spoken and the country needs a leader who believes in leaving the European Union. Of those figures, Boris Johnson is the most prominent Tory.

Theresa May – Home Secretary

Of the prominent Conservative MPs who supported “Remain”, Home Secretary Theresa May generally is thought to have come through the campaign as the most unscathed. As the official charged with immigration policy, Theresa May had a more measured approach to the Brexit campaign — essentially ‘keep your head down’.

It is likely that the majority of Conservatives who supported David Cameron are going to coalesce around a more establishment figure. Theresa May seems to be the one with the best standing at the moment, explaining her 9/4 odds at Paddy Power. (Ladbrokes has her at 3/1.)

Update: Theresa May is now confirmed as the successor to David Cameron. Boris Johnson and Michael Gove split over rival ambitions to be the PM, which ironically left the Conservative Party in the hands of a Remain proponent.

George Osborne – Chancellor of the Exchequer

A week ago, George Osborne’s odds sat at 16/1. Now, the Chancellor’s odds are 25/1. George Osborne made several proclamations about the economic disaster which would ensue, if Brexit passed.

Thus, he is seen as too associated with the Remain vote. George Osborne, like many Chancellors of the past, should have been a natural successor to David Cameron. That likely is not the case in 2016.

Michael Gove – Justice Secretary

Michael Gove is a dark horse candidate who has moved into 3rd place. Gove is credited with convincing Boris Johnson to join the Brexit cause. If the flamboyant Johnson is unacceptable to the Tory establishment, then Michael Gove might be a more measured choice for the Brexit bunch.

Other PM Candidates

The Evening Standard discussed other potential replacements for David Cameron. Those figures were Work & Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb (20/1), Employment Minister Priti Patel (20/1), and Education Secretary Nick Morgan (33/1). The fact is, though, most experts have been dead wrong throughout the Brexit debate. Anything seems possible at the moment.

The full list of betting odds at Paddy Power are listed below.

Paddy Power Odds

Boris Johnson – 8/11
Theresa May – 9/4 (Winner)
Michael Gove – 5/1
Andrea Leadsom – 10/1
Jeremy Corbyn – 16/1
Chris Grayling – 17/1
Sajid Javid – 20/1
Philip Hammond – 20/1
Priti Patel – 20/1
Stephen Crabb – 20/1
Jeremy Hunt – 25/1
Ruth Davidson – 20/1
George Osborne – 25/1
Dan Jarvis – 25/1
Jesse Norman – 33/1
Nicky Morgan – 33/1
Hilary Benn – 40/1
Nigel Farage – 40/1
Keir Starmer – 50/1
Liam Fox – 50/1
Michael Fallon – 50/1
David Miliband – 66/1
Chuka Umunna – 66/1
Owen Paterson – 66/1
Robert Halfon – 66/1
David Davis – 66/1
Justine Greening – 66/1
Stephen Kinnock – 80/1
Lisa Nandy – 80/1
Andy Burnham – 80/1
John McDonnell – 80/1
Tristram Hunt – 80/1
Clive Lewis – 80/1
Tom Watson – 80/1
Yvette Cooper – 100/1
Liz Kendall – 100/1
Grant Shapps – 100/1
Rachel Reeves – 100/1
Alan Johnson – 100/1
Jo Johnson – 100/1
Tony Blair – 100/1
Tim Farron – 150/1

Political Prop Bets at Paddy Power

Paddy Power has a number of other political proposition bets, beside who will be the next British Prime Minister. The other prop bets offered at Paddy Power include more general wagers, including the Date Of Next Election, the Most Seats in the House of Commons, the Overall Parliamentary Majority, the Next Labour Party Leader, the Date Of Next Labour Leadership Election, the Next Conservative Party Leader, and the Next UKIP Leader.

The decision on who leads the British Parliament may not happen immediately. David Cameron said he would stay on for 3 months more, though Conservative Party members might prefer a shorter transition period.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on,, and

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