London24NEWS

Who are the bookies’ favourites to be Tory chief – 8 contenders ranked

Kemi Badenoch is the bookies’ favourite to take over from Rishi Sunak as Tory leader.

Right-winger Ms Badenoch is popular with the Conservative membership – and is tipped to see off challenges from Robert Jenrick, Tom Tugendhat and Suella Braverman. The party is licking its wounds after last week’s crushing General Election defeat.

Mr Sunak announced he would be stepping down, but would remain in place until a successor is found. It is yet again set to go through another leadership contest after burning through five Prime Ministers in its 14 years in power.

Here we look at who is most fancied for the Tory leadership.






Rishi Sunak has agreed to stay on while the timetable for his successor is agreed


Rishi Sunak has agreed to stay on for now after leading his party to the worst defeat in its history
(
PA)

1. Kemi Badenoch






Kemi Badenoch is the bookies favourite to succeed Rishi Sunak


Kemi Badenoch is the bookies favourite to succeed Rishi Sunak
(
PA Wire)

Bookies believe Ms Badenoch is most likely to become leader of the opposition. Bet365 is offering odds of 6/4, while Ladbrokes, Paddypower and Betfair have her at 2/1.

She’s a popular figure on the right of the party. She came fourth in the race to replace Boris Johnson in 2022, but has not ruled out standing again. The former Business Secretary said following last week’s mauling at the polls: “It’s also clear they (the Tory Party) have lost trust in politics and that is a big danger. The Conservatives must come back… be in no doubt that work starts now.”

2. Robert Jenrick






Robert Jenrick has reinvented himself as a standard bearer for the Tory right


Robert Jenrick has reinvented himself as a standard bearer for the Tory right
(
BBC)

Former Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick, who quit Mr Sunak’s government as he didn’t think the last Rwanda Bill went far enough, is also among the favourites.

William Hill is offering odds of 3/1, while Betfred, Ladrokes and Betvictor rate him as a 4/1 contender. He hasn’t dampened down suggestions he’s going to run, slating the Tory record over the weekend.

He told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg: “We did not deliver the level of growth and taxation that Conservatives expect, the quality of service in the NHS that the public need, and above all the secure borders and controlled, reduced migration that we promised and which we need to deliver.”

3. Tom Tugendhat






Ex-Security Minister Tom Tugendhat is the third favourite according to bookies


Ex-Security Minister Tom Tugendhat is the third favourite according to bookies
(
PA Wire)

The former Security Minister – who also stood in 2022 but was eliminated by MPs – is a more centrist choice. He’s currently the third favourite among bookmakers, with Paddypower offering odds of 5/1.

The former Security Minister, who was a soldier before being elected to Parliament, admitted that Thursday had been a “very, very difficult night for the Conservative Party”. He hinted that he might want to run, saying: “What we need to be doing now is looking again at how we serve the British people. Clearly we have a responsibility immediately which is to hold Sir Keir Starmer’s administration to account.”

4. Priti Patel






Priti Patel is popular with grassroots party members


Priti Patel is popular with grassroots party members
(
Getty Images)

The former Home Secretary, who launched the doomed Rwanda deportation scheme, is currently attracting 13/2 odds at Bet365. Ms Patel, a Boris Johnson loyalist who was frozen out by Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, is also a popular figure figure among the Tory grassroots.

Like many of the others in the running, she has a reputation as a hardliner. After her re-election to Parliament she said: “When we reflect upon the national result right now, there is a moment to just have a stock take and a pause.”

5. James Cleverly






Former Home Secretary James Cleverly hasn't ruled himself out


Former Home Secretary James Cleverly hasn’t ruled himself out
(
PA Wire)

One of three former Home Secretaries thought to be in the running to succeed Mr Sunak, Sky Bet is offering 8/1 while William Hill puts him at 6/1.

He’s previously served as Foreign Secretary under Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, as well as a brief time as Education Secretary under Boris Johnson. Speaking to Sky News following the election, he said the party must “think about what our offer is to the British people” and “why this has happened”. But crucially he’s not ruled himself out.

6. Suella Braverman






Suella Braverman is a divisive figure in the Tory fold


Suella Braverman is a divisive figure in the Tory fold
(
Tom Nicholson/REX/Shutterstock)

A highly divisive figure, several bookies rate her as a 10/1 outsider. There are questions about her ability to hold the party together, particularly after she launched a scathing attack on the party days before the election.

During her spell in the Cabinet she came under fire for saying homelessness was a lifestyle choice and describing small boats as an ‘invasion’. She was eventually sacked by Mr Sunak for writing an article in The Times accusing police of having a “double standard”.

In an angry tirade in the early hours of Friday, she said: “I’m sorry my party didn’t listen to you. The Conservative Party has let you down. We did not keep our promises. We’ve acted as if we’re entitled to your vote.” She went on: “We need to learn our lesson. I will do everything in my power to rebuild trust.”

7. Victoria Atkins






Victoria Atkins is a long-shot candidate


Victoria Atkins is a long-shot candidate
(
Anadolu via Getty Images)

With odds somewhere between 20/1 and 14/1, the former Health Secretary is not among the frontrunners. But she will have won points from Tory MPs and members for putting a brave face on the election result.

She told the BBC the country was still “instinctively Conservative” despite the Labour landslide. “In terms of their values, their instinct they are, I believe still instinctively Conservative: they want lower taxes, they want to build a better future for their children, they want us to help them thrive in their personal lives and in their livelihoods,” she said.

8. Nigel Farage






Nigel Farage is an unlikely option, but bookies are still taking bets


Nigel Farage is an unlikely option, but bookies are still taking bets
(
Getty Images)

Over the last few weeks there’s been plenty of talk about Mr Farage trying to wrestle control of the Tories. He could do a reverse Lee Anderson and cross over from Reform UK.

But that seems unlikely, as Conservative MPs are split on whether he’d be welcome. And Mr Farage himself has repeatedly said he’s not planning to do so. Nevertheless some bookies are prepared to offer odds of between 20/1 and 40/1 for those who fancy a long shot.