The current British political climate is in disarray. A lack of trust between British citizens and the governments’ leadership has now gone a step further and infected the elected government, the Tories, fragmenting sections of the party and forcing long-serving members to jump ship.
The Tory leader and sitting prime minister Boris Johnson called for a general election for December 12th, meaning the country would face its fourth national vote in five years, which he and the Conservatives won with a 43.6% share of the vote. The Tories now hold 365 seats in Parliament, compared to Labour's 203 seats and 32.2% of the votes.
The decision to call a snap election came at a time of deep unrest within the country, which has provided ample opportunity for the Tories to take advantage of the current political uncertainty.
What was once one of the global pillars of political stability and democracy, has turned into democrazy. Boris Johnson was accused of lying to The Queen in 2019, which is something he flatly denies when seeking the help of the Monarchy to prorogue parliament. Given the current mess, there has never been a better time to be betting on politics in Great Britain.
We will outline the present situation and provide regular updates regarding all-things British Politics, going into detail about how debates in the House of Commons and House of Lords are playing out.
On the 12th of December in the United Kingdom, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party suffered its worst defeat since World War II. For Labour, it was an electoral apocalypse. The Tory Party is stronger than ever, and with Boris Johnson at the helm, it could be a long few years for Great Britain.
At present, Number 10 is occupied by Boris Johnson, who leads the conservative party. Although his tenure as Prime Minister will at some point come to an end. But who will take over next? Well, the odds are now available and are subject to change. The odds were last updated on February 12, 2021:
With Brexit completed, Scotland's position in the United Kingdom becomes a real point of contention. This has meant Scottish political betting odds are of growing interest in the political betting markets. The election is due to be held on Thursday, May 6, 2021. While this may be some time away, the buildup to the event itself is the time to get involved.
At present, there are numerous markets available. The odds were last updated on February 12, 2021:
There are six types of elections in the United Kingdom, commonly called general elections. Each type of election has its own election day, which is conventionally on a Thursday (but can vary).
The six electoral systems used are; the single-member plurality system (first-to-post), the multi-member plurality system, party-list proportional representation, the single transferable vote, the additional member system and the supplementary vote.
This system of voting has been in place since the introduction of the Fixed-term Parliament Act 2011 for general elections, which has helped create a fair voting system.
British general elections are an opportunity for people in every part of the UK to choose their MP. This person will then represent a local area, otherwise known as a constituency, in the House of Commons for up to five years.
In the UK, parliament is dissolved automatically after 5 years of serving the country. The parliament is dissolved 25 working days before a general election and voting for a new parliament begins. The elections are always held on the first Thursday of May.
A general election is a fixed-term settlement, which happens without question. However, there are also snap elections, which are called by MPs within parliament. These can be called due to a lack of confidence in the current government on various different issues.
Generally speaking, the prime minister doesn’t possess the legal power to call for a snap election but must request the election be called by the head of state - The Monarchy, Queen Elizabeth II.
Anyone over the age of 18 can vote in general elections.
European Parliament elections
The European Parliament is a legislative branch of the European Union and one of its seven institutions. The United Kingdom left the European Union on January 31, 2020. As such, they will no longer take part in any parliamentary proceedings.
The United Kingdom is divided into 650 Parliamentary constituencies across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Each constituency is represented by a member of parliament (MP), who is elected by the people living within each of the 650. We have the odds for two of the main contested constituencies in the UK;
Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish hold elections within each constituency, as well as an MP, there is a council, which is chosen in the same way as the MP. Local elections have a major effect on parliament as the MP’s elected will be given seats and a voice in parliamentary debate.
Anyone over the age of 18 is entitled to vote in the local elections. At present, the Conservatives hold a large majority within the UK, with 365 seats. The other seats are divided up between Labour 202, Scottish National Party 47 seats, Liberal Democrat 11 seats, and the DUP 8 seats, among many other smaller parties.
Within the United Kingdom the central government grants powers to the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, Northern Ireland Assembly and the London Assembly and to their associated execute bodies, this is known as devolution.
Each country has its own voting schedule which they follow and the residents living within each country is able to vote - similarly to how the voting system works for parliament and general elections.
A ballot voting system is used for the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish elections. A ballot is a device used to cast votes in an election, which is normally a piece of paper to record an anonymous vote.
The Mayoral elections take place once every four years, with the last election back in 2016. Sadiq Khan of the Labour Party was elected Mayor of London in 2016 and will serve through until 2020. Here are the latest odds for the next Mayoral Elections, last updated on November 9, 2020:
All British and Commonwealth citizens are allowed to vote in the Mayoral elections, as long as they are aged 18 or over. EU citizens are also entitled to vote, but this changed as of January 31st, 2020.
Interestingly, Boris Johnson served as the mayor of London between 2012-2016. He introduced a public bike system known as “Boris bikes”, which was the first of its kind in the capital to provide bikes to the public.
Police and Crime Commissioner elections
A police and crime commissioner (PCC) is elected to manage the police within the country. There is a separate internal election for the policing of London, but the PCC represents the majority of Wales and England.
The PCC elections were first introduced in 2012. They were tasked with handling police funding, staffing and the wider tactical decisions of the police force. The elections are held once every four years, with the most recent election taking place in May 2016.
UK Party System
The UK system isn’t that difficult to follow on the whole. There are numerous parties that represent certain policies and ideologies, who will then compete for the vote of the people.
There are three main parties that have led the country over the years, those are the Labor Party (left-leaning), the Conservative or Tory Party (right-leaning), and the Liberal Democrats (centre-left/right).
The Tory Party has now been in power since the 1990s when the infamous Labour leader Tony Blair stepped aside allowing John Major to move into Downing Street.
The Labour Party
The Labour party was formed in 1990 and is one of the longest-standing parties in the UK. The party represents the left within the UK political sphere and claims to be the peoples’ government.
Tony Blair was the prime minister between 1997-2007 and is a name synonymous around the world for his involvement in the Iraq war, alongside the 43rd president of the United States George W. Bush. More recently Labour has had Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband and the current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Jeremy Corbyn has been at the helm since 2015. He lost the general election on the 12th and is due to carry the party forward through Brexit 2020. But with other Labour leaders stating how they can take the party forward, it seems Corybn's time is coming to an end.
The Conservative Party
The Conservative party was formed in 1834 and is the longest-standing party in British politics. The Tories represent the right within British politics and have been coming under fire for a number of years as they have allowed Brexit to occur, much to the dismay of the citizens of the UK.
Margaret Thatcher is probably the most recognizable name in the history of the party. There are a number of other leaders of significance, namely John Major, William Hague, Ian Duncan Smith and David Cameron - the man who allowed the Brexit referendum to go through.
More recently we’ve had Theresa May, whose 3-year tenure wasn’t covered in glory. She gave way to the current PM in 2019, Boris Johnson. Johnson is a controversial figure within the UK and is often likened to Donald Trump in the media.
The Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats, or Lib Dems, were formed in 1988 as a central party within British politics. Generally speaking, both Labour and the Tory party's offer a direct left/right ideology, so the Lib Dems wanted to provide the public with a different choice.
Notable leaders of the Lib Dems include; Paddy Ashdown, Vince Cable and Nick Clegg, who saw relative success as prime minister between 2010-2015.
At present, Jo Swinson is the party leader after being elected in 2019.
Outside of the big three, there are some emerging parties that are more relevant now than ever, as well as well-respected long-standing parties that have little sway on current proceedings.
The Scottish National Party (SNP), led by Nicola Sturgeon, has the third-highest number of seats in parliament with 35. The Brexit issues have given rise to the SNP, as they’ll likely seek to leave Great Britain and join the EU as an independent republic. Interestingly, this is more than the Liberal Democrats.
The Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage, who was one of the key figures in the referendum to leave the EU back in 2016, a single-issue party formed in 2019 with the sole purpose of facilitating the UK’s departure from the EU.