Nigel Farage Odds Bet Against Him Becoming Conservative Party Leader

Date IconLast Updated: 29 Nov 2023
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Nigel Farage Odds Bet Against Him Becoming Conservative Party Leader
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UK betting sites have shrunk their odds on Nigel Farage leading the Conservative Party in the future thanks to his high-profile appearance on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here.

Farage is a divisive figure in British politics having masterminded the Brexit referendum and the country’s split from the European Union in 2016.

He claims to be close friends with Donald Trump and remains a figurehead of populists. 

He was recently invited to the Conservative party conference and in October joked that he could replace Rishi Sunak as Tory leader.

“I’d be very surprised if I were not Conservative leader by ‘26. Very surprised,” he sheepishly told Politics Home.

Not shy of controversy, the GB News presenter is believed to have been paid £1.5m to appear in the jungle alongside the likes of Frankie Dettori, Josie Gibson and Tony Bellew.

Farage has endured his fair share of vomit-inducing challenges since he arrived in Australia. Yet the payoff for the television appearance - along with the money - is a potential rebrand for the politician.

Last year MP Matt Hancock hoped that by appearing on I’m A Celebrity he would appeal to the British public. 

He sought to shed the perception that he was an inept health secretary ill-equipped to deal with the Covid-19 crisis, who was caught having an affair in a newspaper sting.

Hancock was paid £320,000 for the appearance and is disliked by two-thirds of the country.

Yet political betting sites evidently believe Farage could benefit more than Hancock from his trip Down Under.

Nigel Farage Betting

According to UK bookmakers, Farage is now as short as 10/1 to be leader of the Conservative party by the end of 2026. Those odds have fallen from 16/1 since he entered the jungle.

The odds of Farage not succeeding Sunak as Tory leader remain at a slim 1/33.

This indicates the reality that Farage, for all his fame, has a long road ahead of him were he to take over the party leadership.

Still, the odds shift is indicative of how politicians can resurrect their careers on ITV’s hit show. 

Farage has boisterously defended his policies while in the jungle and, while ratings are down, it appears as though he will return to the UK with his brand unaffected by the experience.

Ladbrokes also reckon Farage has a 3.8% chance of becoming UK prime minister by 2040, at odds of 25/1

That price is not as wide as one might suspect. After all, a lot can change over the next 17 years and Farage has proven to be a skilful politician who has the ability to lead.

UK General Election Odds
Best Odds
% Chance
Labour Party
83.33%
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No Overall Majority
16.67%
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Conservative Party
6.67%
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How Farage Could Become Conservative Leader

Farage’s route to the Tory leadership would be fraught with controversy and he would have to jump through a fair few hoops to get the job.

For a start, he’d need to be a Conservative MP. For this, he’ll need to run as a Tory candidate at the next UK general election - or find a by-election to run in while sporting a blue rosette – and win a seat in Parliament.

This is no easy task. Conservatives generally keep Farage at arm’s length. 

Those to the right of the party support his Brexit stance, while more centrist Tories feel he’s damaged the party from the periphery.

Should Farage get into Parliament as a Conservative MP the next job would be to topple the existing leader or enter into a leadership contest. One might well open up if Sunak loses the next election and casts the Tories into opposition.

Were this to happen - perhaps on the same day Farage is elected - then the party would begin a leadership contest. 

We’ve seen what happens here before. There were leadership battles in 2019 and 2022, before Sunak swiftly replaced Liz Truss last autumn.

Farage would need support to gun for the leadership and would likely go up against Kemi Badenoch, James Cleverly, Penny Mordaunt and Suella Braverman. 

Farage would have to secure 50% of the vote of Conservative party members to win the leadership. 

That looks unlikely, especially as many Tories quit the party to join the likes of UKIP and then Reform when Brexit happened.

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Could Farage Be Prime Minister?

Betting apps reckon there’s a very small chance that Nigel Farage will be UK prime minister by 2040. That’s a low likelihood but Farage’s route to the top could mirror Boris Johnson’s. 

If he can secure a Conservative seat and hook himself to a cause - like Johnson did with Brexit - then Farage could swiftly gather support.

It might just be that in the 2030s the UK begins to align more closely with the EU again. 

There’s no doubt that there will be calls for another referendum if Labour remain in power past five years and Farage could use this to his own advantage.

Still, at this stage it’s all hypothetical. The bookies are keeping an eye on Farage, but so far he’s enjoying creating his own spotlight.