Odds on Truss leaving office before end of the year

It appears that schemes are afoot among the UK’s senior Conservative party leaders to try and find a way out of the mess that Liz Truss has created.

Senior Conservatives will this week hold talks on a “rescue mission” that would see the swift removal of Liz Truss as leader, after the new chancellor Jeremy Hunt dramatically tore up her economic package and signalled a new era of austerity.

A group of senior MPs will meet on Monday to discuss the prime minister’s future, with some wanting her to resign within days and others saying she is now “in office but not in control”. Some are threatening to publicly call on Truss to stand down after the implosion of her tax-cutting programme.

In a rearguard action to prop up the prime minister, her cabinet allies tonight warned MPs they would precipitate an election and ensure the Tories were “finished as a party” if they toppled a second leader in just a few months.

However, support for Truss is also evaporating inside the cabinet, with members keeping in close touch with her critics. “She is in the departure lounge now and she knows that,” said a former minister. “It is a case now of whether she takes part in the process and goes to some extent on her own terms, or whether she tries to resist and is forced out.”

It must be remembered that this was an entirely self-inflicted wound. Truss squandered the political capital any new leader comes in with by acting rashly. Truss still has her allies and she has options to try and preserve her position but that might lead to an ugly intra-party war fought in public.

This article says that betting in the UK (where they seem to bet on everything) indicates that the chances that British PM Liz Truss will be out of office by the end of the year have increased.

The odds on Liz Truss to step down as Conservative party leader in 2022 have been slashed to 20/21 from 3/1 following the shock sacking of Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng. Odds released from Betfair say Rishi Sunak is the 2/1 favourite to replace her, with Penny Mordaunt next at 5/1 and Boris Johnson 12/1.

Not being a gambling person myself, I did not understand exactly how these odds work in the British system. This article explains it.

A fractional listing of 6/1 (six-to-one) odds would mean that you win $6 against every $1 you wager and receive your dollar back (i.e., the amount you wagered). In other words, this is the ratio of the amount (profit) won to the initial bet, which means that you will receive your stake ($1) in addition to the profit ($6), resulting in a total payout of $7. Therefore, if you stake $10 at 6/1 and win, you get a total payout of $70 ($60 profit + $10 stake).

If I understand that correctly, 20/21 odds mean that if one bets $21 on Truss leaving and she does, one gets back $41. And if one bets $10 on Sunak replacing her and he does, one gets back $30.

I am more comfortable with probability percentages. As I understand it, this reads like there is a 100*21/41=51.2% chance that she will leave (up from 100*1/4=25% before she sacked Kwarteng) and that if she leaves, the probability of Sunak replacing her is 100*1/3=33.3%.

Political events must be a bit tricky for bookmakers because politics is messy and they have to define the events very, very precisely in order to avoid ambiguity.


  1. ardipithecus says

    The bookie doesn’t need to worry about the politics. He wants to make a profit, so he adds up the betting for A plus the betting for B, plus some profit margin, then divides amongst the bettors. That way, it doesn’t matter who wins, he still makes his profit. Betting odds change whenever betting trends change. Bettors lose, but bookies don’t.

    Just like the house odds in a casino, except there the odds and payouts, and house margin are fixed.

  2. says

    How’s “brexit” working out for ya, brits? I thought you were gonna get a ‘great deal’ from the EU. Oh, well, we have Rump so we can hardly point and laugh,

  3. Mano Singham says


    That way, it doesn’t matter who wins, he still makes his profit.

    Is that always true? After all, if everyone bets on one result and that result turns up, then there are no losers to compensate for the payout.

    I thought that betting is statistical, that bookies and casinos win in the long run because of the margin in favor of the house. For any single event, while they can adjust the odds depending on how the betting goes so as to minimize potential losses, they can never make it zero.

  4. ardipithecus says

    Bookies could also lose a bit if there is a flurry of bets one way too late for them to post new odds I suppose, but a sure bet is that they don’t lose much, and not often,

  5. sonofrojblake says

    If everyone -- literally everyone -- bets on the favourite, the bookies lose. Except… if there’s a situation where the favourite is a dead cert -- a boxing match between me and Mike Tyson, say -- the odds would look something like 1,000,000 to one on me to win (you bet a dollar, bookie pays a million if I win) and a million to one ON for Tyson (you bet a MILLION dollars on Tyson to win, bookies pays you a crisp single if he does).

    The bookies are counting on (a) there not being anyone rich or stupid enough to give them a million dollars even for an hour on the off chance, no matter how certain, that they’d make a dollar profit, and (b) there are enough suckers who look at me and think “well, he’s studied a bunch of different martial arts, he’s 3″ taller than Tyson so he’s got the reach, and he’s almost completely recovered from that catastrophic leg injury… he screw it, I’ll have a pound on the pasty out-of-shape white guy who’s never won a fight in his life, why not?”

    The numbers are of course exaggerated, but the point is: even if the favourite wins, it’s the job of the bookies to set odds such that they still win. And they clearly can, because they always do. Who ever heard of a bookie going out of business?

    On a related note: not many people in the UK bet as such. I think I know one person who’s ever even been in a betting shop. Many people “have a flutter” on the Grand National, an annual horse race, but beyond that it’s not really a national passtime. What it IS is a way newspapers can convey statistical likelihoods to a population so stupid it voted for Brexit. What they’re saying is -- Truss’s exit is now very likely. It’s also often quoted in papers because hey -- bookmakers advertise in papers. Quoting odds on this or that is free publicity.

    Political events must be a bit tricky for bookmakers

    Not really. In civilised countries “X won the election” is an uncontroversial fact, easily stated and easily verified. It’s only in backward banana republics and horrible barbarian dictatorships where the results of elections are ever seriously disputed by anyone.

  6. EigenSprocketUK says

    How’s “brexit” working out for ya, brits?

    Oh, just fine, Marcus. Brilliantly, in fact.

    Our economic woes are entirely the result of the global downturn and the giddying interest rates and bond markets falling apart which everyone else in the entire world is definitely experiencing too, and we’re growing our economy unlike everyone else in the whole world.
    We have no need to mention our entirely successful Brexit ever again, thankyou.
    Also, please never mention the day we ignored the advice not to eat the out-of-date shellfish and shat our pants in the middle of the high street on parade day, thankyou. The prawns were lovely.

  7. Kimpatsu1011 says

    “This article says that betting in the UK (where they seem to bet on everything)…”
    No we don’t. Wanna bet?

  8. jrkrideau says

    I get the feeling that Truss will be lucky to last until Halloween. I think I saw that Labour is currently polling. ~ 29% above the Tories . And as someone wrote, “She is still tunnelling down”.

    Firing permanent secretary to the Treasury, as one of her Gov’t’s first acts does not seem to have been a GREAT IDEA>

    The British SF writer Charlie Stross commented, “Seriously, I had no idea it was possible to crash a G7 economy in less than a week! “.

    It was clear that Truss was out out of her depth when, as Foreign Secretary, she made a statement about keeping the Black Sea open for the benefit of the Baltic States.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov walked out of a meeting with her saying it was ‘like talking to a deaf person’

  9. John Morales says

    re #8:
    The British SF writer Charlie Stross also commented:

    jkrideau is now banned.

    It’s possible they’re a sock-puppet/troll doing the rounds of what remains of the blogosphere to inject pro-Russian viewpoints.

    (In case it’s not glaringly obvious I’m one of those fascist-liberal snowflakes the Kremlin is railing against right now: I’m LGBT+ and my grandfather and his family fled the Russian empire one jump ahead of a Tsarist pogrom. So no, I have zero sympathy — and a lot of actual no-shit hatred — for the Dugin doctrine that Putin seems to be trying to implement.)

  10. John Morales says

    Silentbob, you mean argumentum ad hominem?


    No. As usual, you reveal your ignorance.
    Most people don’t get what it entails any more than you do.

    (Feel free to look it up)

  11. Holms says

    Silly Silentbob, jrkrideau mentioned a Russian’s criticism of Truss, therefore it is totes relevant that he was banned elsewhere for being perceived as pro-Russian.

  12. sonofrojblake says

    How’s “brexit” working out for ya, brits?

    Absolutely great, if you’re someone who voted for it (i.e. a millionaire, or wilfully clueless, or just stupid).

    Absolutely shit, if you’re not a millionaire and have an actual job that requires other employees (where’ve all the people who used to do the work/apply for the jobs gone?), smooth trade (where’s my delivery gone? It’s still at the fucking docks), and on and on and on to a cavalcade of nonsense all of which was predicted.

    Mind you, I could list things we haven’t got… yet:
    1. the death penalty
    2. ubiquitous guns
    3. over 0.6% of our population in prison
    4. people getting arrested for needing an abortion

  13. birgerjohansson says

    Brexit… historians will prod this time period over and over again.
    It is the art of getting useful idiots to play into the hand of a very small cabal who want ultra-mega-neoliberalism and abandonment of all rules that keep big business in check.
    EU provided minimum standards, so EU had to go.
    It would not have been possible without the conservative client press.

  14. sonofrojblake says

    The annoying thing about Brexit is… a global pandemic came along just as the problems were starting to bite, and for at least two years the twunts responsible for Brexit were able to blame all the problems on the virus and the ensuing global slowdown. And annoyingly, on at least some level, they’re right -- the world did slow down and suffer. It’s just that almost all other countries are bouncing back from that, whereas the UK is bouncing in the same way a cat bounces when you throw off a building when it’s already dead.

  15. KG says

    Marcus Ranum@2,
    I’ve read that even some of the Tory Brexiteer press (Daily Telegraph, Daily Express) are now wondering whether Brexit was such a wonderful idea -- I don’t read them, so this could be a false rumour.

    As for Truss and her possible successor, the new Chancellor she appointed, Jeremy Hunt (who came last in the first round of voting among Tory MPs in the contest that ended with Truss as PM), has today ditched almost all the measures in the “fiscal event” that caused the near-meltdown of the UK’s financial system, and has promised further tax rises and spending cuts. “The Markets” have responded favourably, and Tory MPs have started worshipping at his feet. He’s obviously the real PM now, and my guess is that he’ll get the title to go with the power as soon as the Tories can work out how to winkle Truss out and put him in. My further guess is that Truss will be prevailed upon to go to Charles Windsor and resign, probably this week, advising Charles to call on Hunt to form a government, so we don’t have a repeat of what happened with Johnson -- a politically dead PM walking while their successor is chosen. The Tories will then announce a contest for the party leadership (note that there’s no rule that the PM has to be a party leader), which Hunt will win either by default -- no other candidates -- or with such an overwhelming majority among Tory MPs that the final part of the contest -- the party members choosing between the top two candidates chosen by the MPs -- will also give him a huge majority.

  16. sonofrojblake says

    My guess is that the parliamentary Tory party -- the MPs -- have now learned their lesson, and will never, ever ask the membership their opinion again. For much the same reason, they’ll never ask the public their opinion ever again either after 2016. Asking large groups of people their opinion is a short route to the wrong answer. It is vitally important that the public’s opinion should only ever be asked in a general election, and THAT should only be done when it can’t be avoided or it’s thought politically expedient (although not even that is guaranteed, viz. May’s disastrous performance in an election she didn’t need to have called), and the system filters public opinion through the gerrymandered first-past-the-post system to ensure England is forever Tory.

    (Note: if Scotland leaves the union, the remaining bits of the UK will be effectively a one-party state, and that party is the shower of bastards who are currently in office (note: not in power. Not in charge. In office.)

  17. jrkrideau says

    @ 10 Silentbob

    Getting banned from that blog is rather amusing as, for some reason, I think I have managet to sign on to it about twice in the past three years. Still, fame at last!

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