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Bookies braced for fourth political upset in just two years

Theresa May is the clear 1-4 favourite to win the Conservative leadership contest with bookmaker Coral, but after two years of major political upsets, the energy minister is far from a certainty to win. In 2005 David Cameron was an outsider to win the contest for Tory leadership, with David Davis the odds-on favourite for the job, so it comes as no surprise to see plenty of support for Andrea Leadsom causing an upset this time around at 3-1.

The first big political upset in recent times occurred in 2015 when the Tories won a Conservative Majority in the General Election. That outcome was priced at 7-1, with No Overall Majority as short as 1-16 in the run up to the election.

Subsequently in September the biggest upset in political betting history followed when Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour leadership contest in a landslide vote. When betting on the contest first opened, Corbyn went from being a 200-1 no-hoper to the 1-20 red-hot favourite, costing Britain’s bookmakers more than £1million pay-out.

The most recent shock came last month when Britain voted to leave the EU, in one of the most volatile political betting events ever. The result left bookmakers and punters alike shocked, despite the gap narrowing in the days leading up to the referendum. Remain was always odds-on to win, with Leave as big as 9-2 when betting closed on polling day.

The recent trends have also encouraged a surge of support in favour of Donald Trump winning the upcoming US Presidential Election. Hillary Clinton is the 4-11 favourite, but Trump’s odds have crashed to 9-4, having been as big as 150-1.

“The betting isn’t often wrong, but when it comes to politics, that’s all changed in recent times. The Conservative Majority at the General Election, Jeremy Corbyn romping home to the leadership of Labour, and the Brexit result has rumbled the betting world, and future betting markets don’t look as solid as they once were,” said Coral’s Nicola McGeady.

“The betting for next Tory leader looks very one sided in favour of Theresa May, but following recent upsets and favourites failing to win in past Tory elections, we are bracing ourselves for another political shock,” added McGeady.

**Political Upsets and the odds

7-1 Conservative majority at the General Election

40-1 Jeremy Corbyn becoming Labour leader

9-2 Brexit

**Next Conservative Leader

1-4 Theresa May, 3-1 Andrea Leadsom

**US Presidential Election

4-11 Hillary Clinton, 9-4 Donald Trump, 25-1 bar

ENDS

Further Information Contact:

Nicola McGeady 07917683784