It’s looking increasingly likely that it will be downhill to the finishing line for ex-ski instructor Ben Wallace who has emerged as the early favourite at Betfred to become the next leader of the Conservative Party.
Boris Johnson eventually fell on his sword to quit on Thursday morning after an unprecedented number of ministerial resignations left him with no choice.
So far, only one would-be leader has put her hat into the ring ahead of the Prime Minister’s formal resignation speech on Thursday afternoon – and that’s Attorney General Suella Braverman who is 33/1 to land the top job.
The big mover in the market is Defence Secretary Wallace – the ex-Scots Guard captain and Wyre and Preston North MP who worked as a ski instructor in Austria before moving to Sandhurst.
The 52-year-old, who lists his hobbies as rugby, skiing, motorsports and horse racing, was 8/1 to become the next Tory leader not long ago, but is now the outright favourite at 9/4 after up to £5,000 was wagered on him on Thursday morning in London and in Lancashire.
Next in the betting is ex-chancellor Rishi Sunak at 4/1, ahead of Penny Mordaunt at 6/1 – while the odds have come in slightly on Foreign Secretary Liz Truss who is quoted at 7/1.
Sajid Javid, who started the wave of resignations on Tuesday evening, is available at 10/1, while at 14/1 is Jeremy Hunt, Dominic Raab and Tom Tugendhat.
The new chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi, is 16/1 – and it’s 20/1 bar.
It’s likely to be a drawn-out selection process, with the market ebbing and flowing.
Once a candidate declares an interest in the top job, they must gather 18 supporters in the first ballot of MPs or they are out.
Next, in round two, they need 36 supporters – and then the final two candidates left standing will go to the Conservative Party membership who ultimately decide who will take over from Boris Johnson.