Mad Tory Friday part 2…..

November 16th, 2018


Moggsy’s TM confidence vote gamble could rebound into a confidence vote on himself

November 16th, 2018

He’ll look weak if not enough fellow CON MPs follow

Yesterday the old Etonian father of six, Jacob Rees-Mogg, took a massive gamble when he had an impromptu press conference outside the palace of Westminster in which he declared his lack of confidence in the state-school educated Mrs May. He announced that he had sent a letter calling for a confidence vote and it looked as though the other 47 letters needed were either there or would be arriving quickly.

He built up the expectation that others would follow and that maybe we could have had an announcement from Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee, last night that a confidence vote had been triggered.

Well now that hasn’t happened and each hour that goes on without news from Mr Brady will increase suggestions that this attempt to get rid of the prime minister is struggling.

    The most important thing when you’re mounting a coup is to get a body quickly and that does not seem to have happened. Could it be that Moggsy has overstated his position?

If this proves to be the case, and the next day or so will reveal that, he will have actually strengthened the position of Theresa May who has been trying to steer a very difficult course on the EU exit over the last few months.

Currently on Betfair 2018 as TMay’s exit year is rated as a 43% chance. I’m laying that which means I win if she is still in post on New Year’s day 2019.

Mike Smithson


A massive Westminster day ends with TMay still in place

November 15th, 2018

The “bloody difficult woman” will be difficult to shift

Although I disagree with her on so many things you can but admire the way she is holding on and battling forward in spite of all the obstacles and setbacks. This was always going to be a very difficult period for the Prime Minister who took over shortly after the referendum in July 2016 never more so than today.

Throughout she has made as her objective ensuring that the referendum outcome is delivered while at the same time seeking to safeguard the economy. We have seen over the years how Conservative Party can be hideously difficult for a leader to navigate when it comes to things relating to the EU as has been illustrated so much today. This was never going to be easy.

Dominic Raab the Brexit secretary who has quit had a lot of coverage during the day and it is probably the first time many have had a good look at him. I’m less than impressed. He’s a lightweight especially when it comes to comparisons with the Prime Minister. He would have done his position much more good if the resignation has come after last night’s cabinet meeting and not today.

I thought Moggsy’s announcement that he had sent a letter in to the 1922 committee chair would be the trigger for the other 47 letters that would start a leadership process. So far that hasn’t happened and suggests a lack of organisation if indeed there is an ousting plot in place.

Whatever this is all a welcome break from Mr. Trump.

Mike Smithson


If TMay survives a confidence vote she’d be immune from another challenge for a year

November 15th, 2018

After an extraordinary 24hrs at Westminster in which a total, as I write, of six ministers having resigned all the talk now is that Theresa May could soon be facing a confidence vote.

For this to happen it requires 48 different CON MPs to write to the chairman of the 1922 committee, Graham Brady, asking for such a move to take place.

Jacob Rees-Mogg has announced that he has sent a letter in and has indicated that he might support Priti Patel or Penny Mordaunt. Moggsy made clear though there was now nothing that the Prime Minister could do to change his mind that she wasn’t right for the job.

So we could be heading for a leadership contest but the first requirement is that a majority of Tory MPs participating in the ballot actually vote that they have no confidence in Mrs May.

    That is far from certain. There is a big difference between getting the 48 letters in to trigger the ballot and securing the support of perhaps 155 MPs in order to ensure that the motion succeeds.

It would, however, clear the air.

The big Gamble the letter signers would be taking is that if Mrs May did survive that confidence vote then she would be guaranteed a full year before another challenge could be made. In the ensuing period, of course, Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29th.

My guess is that the PM would probably survive the VONC but it is nothing like as certain as it might have been a week or so ago.

If she was forced out Mrs. May would arguably be the fourth consecutive CON PM to have been brought down by the EU issue.

Mike Smithson


Raab’s resignation sparks off huge movements on the TMay exit, next GE date & next CON leader betting markets

November 15th, 2018

Punters expect TMay to go this year

Raab becomes the new CON leader favourite

And 2019 the year for the next general eletion

The prices are based on the Betfair exchange and the charts are from Betdata.io.

Mike Smithson


I just wonder if Trump could decide to call it a day and quit

November 15th, 2018

Just be thankful you don’t work in the West Wing

Away from Brexit for a moment and things do not appear to be happy in the White House. This from the excellent Political Wire

For weeks this fall, an ebullient President Trump traveled relentlessly to hold raise-the-rafters campaign rallies — sometimes three a day — in states where his presence was likely to help Republicans on the ballot,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“But his mood apparently has changed as he has taken measure of the electoral backlash that voters delivered Nov. 6. With the certainty that the incoming Democratic House majority will go after his tax returns and investigate his actions, and the likelihood of additional indictments by special counsel Robert Mueller, Trump has retreated into a cocoon of bitterness and resentment.”

“Behind the scenes, they say, the president has lashed out at several aides, from junior press assistants to senior officials.”

There’s a similar picture in the latest Vanity Fair by Gabriel Sherman under the heading “INSANITY,” “FURIOUS,” “ON HIS OWN”: TRUMP’S POST-MIDTERMS BLUES ARE VEXING HIS STAFF AND ROILING THE WHITE HOUSE.

“Last Tuesday, he was in high spirits as he watched election returns come in with about a hundred friends at the White House. Trump told people that his barnstorming rally schedule had mobilized his base and held Republican losses to historical lows, while increasing Republican gains in the Senate. “He really thought he won the midterms,” a prominent Republican who spoke with Trump said..

..But by Wednesday, after hours of commentary about the suburbs’ distaste for him and with seat after undecided House seat slipping toward the Democrats, his mood slid, too, hitting bottom in a bizarre and combative press conference. “He was furious about the narrative. He said, ‘Look, I went to all these states and now people are saying Trump lost the election,’”

Meanwhile the outstanding counts continue and the Democrats increase their stranglehold on the incoming House of Representatives. A total of maybe 40 net gains is being talked about and in the new year Trump’s administration could face a whole range of investigations with subpoena powers.

The last thing that Trump and his family want is to be probed and I just wonder whether he might call it a day. I’ve had a little flutter on Betfair at 55/1 that Trump will be out this year.

Mike Smithson


Mrs. May survives the day getting cabinet backing for the deal and there’s been no Vote of Confidence move

November 14th, 2018

On Betfair the money goes on a 2018 TMay exit


Well all those who were predicting that today there would be a cabinet rebellion on the Brexit deal and a possible vote of no confidence move against Mrs May have been proved wrong. Yet again the most resilient leader of recent times continues to defy political gravity.

The next stage its for this to go to the House of Commons and that might not be as easy as today has apparently been for the prime minister. Sure the cabinet meeting went on for a whole lot longer than anybody was expecting but she got the result that she wanted.

Her big view is that leavers will come around to supporting her position because the alternative could be a No Deal, a referendum, or no brexit at all. For all its faults what’s that’s been agreed with Brussels does provide a pathway for an exit from the EU on March 29th next year.

Her great strength with all those who oppose her position is the threat of what could happen if the arrangement is not backed.

I’m coming to the view that the biggest challenge now might be fending off the growing demand for a people’s vote. Remainers have become emboldened.

Mike Smithson


Good news for TMay: Montgomerie’s backing suggests that the deal has a better chance of being agreed

November 14th, 2018

That the founder ConHome, Tim Montgomerie, has Tweeted that he’s backing the deal suggests that this is going to be less of a struggle for TMay than many thought.

A couple of years ago Newsnight described him as “the most famous conservative who is not an MP” and there’s little doubt that he still has a lot of influence particularly as he as always been seen as a strong Brexiteer.

In 2016, a few months before the referendum vote, Tim announced that he was quitting the party over Cameron’s Brexit stance.

ConHome itself has always been strongly pro-Brexit.

No doubt Tim will be writing of the reason for his decision and my guess is that he’s taking the “half a loaf is better than none” approach. The last thing those strongly opposed to the EU want is another referendum which could could open up the issue.

Mike Smithson