In Depth

Who will be the next UK prime minister? The odds and polls

Boris Johnson warned failure to push through Brexit immediately could cost him election victory

David Cameron has admitted he is unsure whether Boris Johnson could win a general election held in the wake of any further delays to Brexit.

Speaking on Monday at an event organised by The Times, the former prime minister urged his successor to make compromises to secure a deal with the EU. “Boris is compromising and I suspect may have to move a bit more. And the EU should compromise too,” Cameron told the audience in London.

The ex-Tory leader spoke out as leaks from the European Commission reveal major concerns over Johnson’s proposals. A government official told the BBC that No. 10 was preparing for a breakdown in talks.

If no deal is approved by the EU and Parliament by 19 October, Johnson is required by law to ask for another delay, although he has been exploring options to avoid making such a request.

Either way, a general election looks inevitable.

According to the Financial Times, Johnson is already stepping up preparations for a return to the polls. As the newspaper notes, the PM visited a Watford hospital on Monday to promote his NHS cash injection, rather than selling his proposed Brexit deal.

So would he sail through an election to secure a majority - or become one of the shortest serving PMs in British history? Here is what the bookies and polls say.

When will Johnson leave No. 10?

According to Betway, Johnson is most likely to be ousted this year, with odds of 8/11 on a 2019 exit. Odds on a 2020 exit are 3/1.

However, recent polls paint a very different picture. “The Tories have opened up a fifteen-point poll lead over Labour and strengthen their standing with Brexit supporters,” reports PoliticsHome.

The latest Opinium survey puts the Conservatives on 38% support, with Labour trailing behind on 23% - suggesting Johnson would remain PM in the event of an election.

Who will be the next PM if Johnson is ousted?

Jeremy Corbyn is top of the bookmakers’ list of potential successors should Johnson vacate Downing Street, with odds of around 2/1 on the Labour leader becoming the next PM.

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Corbyn is followed by former chancellor Ken Clarke, whose Tory whip was removed by Johnson, and Labour’s Margaret Beckett - both of whom have been suggested as leaders for an alternative government of national unity.

In fourth place is Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, followed by the Brexit Party’s Nigel Farage.

However, the Opinium poll shows support for the Lib Dems tumbling by 5% since last week, to 15%, with Farage’s party stuck on 12%.

A new ComRes survey for The Telegraph also runs counter to Cameron’s theory that voters might not forgive Johnson for a Brexit delay.

The survey found that 83% would blame Parliament, while 70% would point the finger at Remain MPs, and 63% at the European Commission. A total of 56% would blame Johnson if Brexit fails to happen on 31 October, according to the poll results.

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