September 29th, 2019
The Betfair 69% on it taking place this year looks a decent bet
A leading SNP MP, Stewart Hosie, has told the BBC that there could be a confidence vote in Johnson as early as next week.
If this happens, given the current Commons numbers, Johnson would almost certainly lose and then, under the FTPA, there would a fortnight under which an alternative government could be formed and if not a general election would be triggered.
From what I can see the thinking is that getting the PM out now is seen critical to avoid a no deal Brexit on October 31st. A new government made up of all the opposition parties groupings including the Tories MPs axed by Johnson would then take over the reins of government to take the country past the October 31st Article 50 deadline.
The main problem is then who would become PM. While other parties might be happy with Corbyn Jo Swinson has been very clear that the LAB leader would not be acceptable and the LDs need to be on board. Alternatives such as Ken Clarke and Margaret Beckett have been suggested.
An interesting name that has been raised is the outgoing Speaker, John Bercow, who was originally elected as an MP for the Tory party.
My guess is that Corbyn might be prepared for another figure which is why my money is on Beckett.
A big issue overall is that although the referendum was for Leave the margin was so tight that a 1.9% Leave to Remain swing would have produced a different outcome. The Brexiteers got 51.9% of the vote but want 100% of the spoils. That could be their undoing.
You can get 69% on Betfair that there will be a second VONC in 2019 which looks like a good bet.
Meanwhile it is Tory conference time in Manchester.