Theresa May will probably step down before the next election no matter what she says. But which women could replace her?
1st – Amber Rudd
The betting markets’ favourite to replace Theresa May as prime minister is current Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who stood in for her leader during the snap election’s televised debates. Rudd is a good debater and skilled politician, however, there are two big obstacles that could stand in the way of her taking over from May. The first is that she is a close ally of the prime minister, something that could damage her chances in the parliamentary Conservative party if members were looking for a cut from the past. Secondly, she has a tiny majority in Hastings and Rye, meaning that the prospect of a new prime minister losing her seat at a general election is a real and risky possibility. Nonetheless, she is the favourite, with Ladbrokes offering her odds of 12/1, according to Oddschecker.
2nd – Ruth Davidson
Bizarrely, even though Davidson is not an MP, she is regularly touted as a future prime minister or Tory leader. She is a skilled speaker and personable character, as well as a poster-woman for the liberal conservative wing of the Tory party. The main thing in her way to the top is that she is not even an MP. On top of that, the places that voted Scottish Tory in June are not the places where she could realistically stand with a history in the constituency, meaning that she could end up being parachuted into a seat, something that could backfire for her. William Hill offer odds of 22/1 for Davidson to replace May while Ladbrokes offer 33/1.
3rd – Andrea Leadsom
Leadsom made it to the final two last time so why not again? June’s election and the ever-changing political landscape will have altered the political arithmetic, but it is entirely possible that the Leader of the House of Commons could build a coalition of MPs to take her into the final round of voting like before.
William Hill: 33/1, PaddyPower 33/1.
4th- Priti Patel
First elected in 2010, Patel has risen quickly in the Conservative party. During the later coalition years, she served as the country’s Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury before becoming Employment Minister after Cameron won a majority in 2015. Following May’s rise to power, she was appointed Secretary of State for International Development, a position she holds to this day. If Tory MPs end up looking for someone from the right of the party with strong anti-EU views, as well as someone from one of the newer cohorts of MPs, Patel could be their woman.
Coral offer odds of 50/1 for Patel to become the country’s next prime minister.
5th – Emily Thornberry
The previous four favourites assume that May will step down before the next election and be replaced by a fellow Conservative MP to lead their party into a new election. But what if May holds on and faces Labour in the next election? Corbyn looks like he is going nowhere soon, but it is possible to imagine the Labour giant being replaced by a close ally. One possible female replacement is Emily Thornberry, who serves as Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, as well as the Shadow First Secretary of State. A recent Guardian article outlined why she is being strongly considered as Labour’s next leader.
Ladbrokes offer odds of 50/1 for a Thornberry premiership while SkyBet offer longer odds of 60/1.
6th – Yvette Cooper
Originally no friend of Corbyn, the Telegraph reported that this experienced former Chief Secretary to the Treasury would be open to now serving in a shadow cabinet led by Jeremy Corbyn after Labour’s spectacular second-place in June’s election. With the current make-up of Labour’s membership, it seems unlikely that Cooper could become the party’s next leader and then become prime minister after May, but in the age of political long-shots it should not be ruled out.
Coral offer odds of 50/1 for Cooper being the UK’s next PM as does PaddyPower.
7th – Nicky Morgan
Morgan served as education secretary under David Cameron and is now Chair of the Treasury Select Committee. Morgan is clearly an experienced politician, but could she get enough votes in the Tory parliamentary party?
PaddyPowers offer odds of 80/1 for Nicky Morgan to succeed Theresa May as British prime minister.
All odds are from Oddschecker and can be accessed here. All odds are accurate as of 15th September.