Who will be the UK’s next Prime Minister? Latest odds on Tory leader candidates Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt

THE Tory leadership contest is hotting up, with frontrunner Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt battling it out to become the next Prime Minister.

And now, Tory Party members will choose either the ex-Foreign Secretary or his successor to be the new PM in under four weeks.

Conservative MP Boris Johnson speaks to the audience as he takes part in a Conservative Party leadership hustings event
Conservative MP Boris Johnson speaks to the audience as he takes part in a Conservative Party leadership hustings event
AFP

What issues are they campaigning on?

The chief issue — and one ultimately dominating the leadership campaign — is Brexit. 

Johnson and his allies have stepped up pressure on Hunt over his refusal to commit to taking the UK out of the European Union on October 31, with or without a deal.

Hunt has called the date a “fake deadline” and said he would be prepared to extend it if a deal with the EU is in reach, but Johnson has made a “do or die” commitment to make sure Brexit is delivered by the end of October.

One of Johnson’s most senior supporters, former leadership rival Dominic Raab, suggested he could legally ignore the will of Parliament to deliver his pledge to leave by October 31.

Former Brexit secretary Raab said a Commons motion passed by MPs opposed to a No Deal Brexit would have “zero legal effect”.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt smiles as he answers questions from journalist Iain Dale
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt smiles as he answers questions from journalist Iain Dale
EPA

What’s happened in the Tory leadership race so far?

The leadership contest was sparked by the sudden resignation of Theresa May after she failed to get her Brexit deal through parliament. 

Thirteen people put their names forward by three fell by the wayside before the first voting took place.

MP votes then whittled down the candidates until the final two emerged. 

The campaign took a dramatic twist when neighbours of Boris and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds recorded the couple arguing in their flat in the early hours of Friday, June 21.

The recording was then leaked to the Guardian newspaper. 

Johnson has refused to comment on the nature of the row. 

The final Conservative vote takes place on July 22, when all 160,000 members of the Conservative Party will be able to vote.

The candidate who receives more than 50 percent of the party vote will become next party leader and therefore Prime Minister.

The winner takes over from Theresa May on July 24.

Conservative leadership candidate Boris Johnson arrives at Parliament on June 26
Conservative leadership candidate Boris Johnson arrives at Parliament on June 26
Getty Images – Getty

Johnson vs Hunt

On Monday, July 1, Hunt vowed to trigger a No Deal Brexit on September 30 if the EU does not budge on talks.

Despite warning in 2018 that a “cliff edge” exit would be “a mistake we would regret for generations”, he infuriated unions by insisting he was now willing to cancel summer leave for 400,000 civil servants to prepare for one.

Hunt told The Sun: “We have to implement the referendum. And it’s the responsibility of a Prime Minister to do so in a way that minimises the impact and maximises opportunities.”

Johnson and his team BoJo and his team claimed Mr Hunt was not “serious” about delivering No Deal as he had repeatedly refused to commit to leaving by October 31.

Johnson has said about Brexit: “If we fail to come out on October 31st I believe we are courting mortal retribution from the electorate – a haemorrhage of trust from which we will not recover.”

What are the current odds for Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt becoming Prime Minister?

Johnson has long been the clear front-runner in the contest and has easily made it to the final two.

Each round he has won the votes of more than 100 Tory MPs.

The current 1/8 odds of Johnson winning are currently while bookies have given Hunt a 12/1 chance of becoming Prime Minister.

When is the next TV debate?

ITV will be broadcasting a head-to-head debate between the two candidates on Tuesday, July 9.

The head will be hosted by Julie Etchingham and broadcast live from North West England.

Anyone who wants to put a question directly to Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt can submit their question via the ITV link here.

//players.brightcove.net/5067014667001/default_default/index.min.js

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here