03:37 GMT21 October 2020
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    There's been much speculation in the British media that Prime Minister Theresa May has allegedly offered her colleagues a swap deal: her top position in exchange for the passage of her Brexit proposal.

    Theresa May will go unchallenged by the Conservative Party for the next year after surviving a vote of no confidence in December 2018, but most local media reported a suspicion that she is in the final days of her premiership due to her inability to find support for the Brexit deal at home. 

    READ MORE: 'Very Difficult’ to Forecast UK's Fate Amid Theresa May’s Brexit Debacle

    The Sun, for instance, reported that May offered MPs to leave her post in return for the endorsement of her Brexit deal in a bid to break the impasse. In light of these rumours, here's a look at the list of potential candidates who could replace May as prime minister.

    Frontrunners in the Tory Party

    Michael Gove

    Taking into account mounting calls for the next Tory leader to be a vocal Brexiteer, bookmakers have placed high bids on Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

    The Daily Mail reported that the former Vote Leave co-leader has emerged as the "consensus choice" among MPs, while London's Evening Standard wrote that "it highlights Gove’s turnaround since he was seen as stabbing [his one-time ally Boris] Johnson in the back when he stood against him in 2016". The Evening Standard made a reference to Gove's decision to stand for the Conservative leadership and leave Johnson's team.

    Oddsmonkey sees Gove as the firm frontrunner to replace Theresa May at No 10 at 3/1 odds.

    Gove, however, told the BBC this week that, "It’s not the time to change the captain of the ship, I think what we need to do is to chart the right course".

    David Lidington

    Second favourite at 4/1, May’s de facto deputy David Lidington has been named as a possible caretaker PM should Theresa May step down suddenly.

    READ MORE: Risk of Post-Brexit Limbo for EU Citizens, But MPs Could Just Save the Day

    Speaking outside his home last weekend, Lidington told reporters the speculation about May's potential resignation and his "caretaking" duties was "far-fetched":

    "I don’t think that I’ve any wish to take over from the PM (who) I think is doing a fantastic job".

    Philiip Hammond

    Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond was also named as a likely caretaker prime minister amid media speculations of a cabinet coup. He, however, told Sky News on Sunday that "changing prime ministers wouldn't help, changing the party of government wouldn't help" to break the Brexit impasse.

    READ MORE: 'Shut Up': Piers Morgan Out-Megaphones 'Stop Brexit Man' Who Ruined News Segment

    Hammond further debunked reports that he was hoping to parachute in Lidington as caretaker, adding: "To be talking about changing the players on the board, frankly, is self-indulgent at this time".

    Boris Johnson

    Ex-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has been a bookmaker favourite for a long time and has been installed in third at 6/1. Johnson left his post on 9 July 2018, just hours after May lost Brexit Secretary David Davis over her Chequers plan. Many MPs have, however, turned against him, implying that Johnson might struggle to get on the final ballot.

    Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt

    According to Sky Bet, tied in fourth are Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt at 8/1.

    Javid was appointed Home Secretary in the wake of the Windrush scandal, concerning people, particularly from Caribbean countries, who were wrongly detained, threatened with deportation, and sometimes wrongly deported from the UK by the Home Office. The scandal led to the resignation of Javid's predecessor, Amber Rudd.

    A well-known Eurosceptic, Javid's support for a harder Brexit has been taken as a signal that he is pitching for the leadership.

    READ MORE: Brexit: UK Should Leave Under WTO Rules – Political Commentator

    Hunt, who was the longest-serving Health Secretary in British history before replacing BoJo as Foreign Secretary, is believed to have leadership aspirations and support for Brexit despite campaigning for Remain during the 2016 referendum.

    What About Labour?

    The latest odds from Sky Bet suggest that Labour Party chief Jeremy Corbyn's chances are quite high in succeeding Theresa May and now stand at 8/1.

    Most recently, Corbyn agreed to consider a second Brexit referendum, but said that he would throw the Labour Party's full support behind May if she agreed to a softer Brexit alternative that would include Britain remaining in a customs union with the EU.

    The second favourite from Labour is shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, followed by shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry.

    Recent polling published in the Daily Mail puts the Conservatives at 35 percent and Labour at 31 percent, followed by The Independent Group (TIG) at 11 percent, the Liberal Democrats at 5 percent and Ukip at 4 percent.

    "However, the picture changes dramatically upon voters being asked about their preferences if Jeremy Corbyn was no longer Labour leader", according to the Daily Mail, citing a survey by Deltapoll, which suggested that without Corbyn, the opposition, at 40 percent, would have a 3-percent lead over the Tories.


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    polls, post, Brexit, candidate, prime minister, Labour party, Conservative Party, Jeremy Corbyn, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Boris Johnson, Philip Hammond, David Lidington, Michael Gove, Theresa May, United Kingdom
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