The race to become the next leader of the country has intensified, with Mrs May hit with a series of Brexit blows this week. On Monday, she confirmed the vote on her Brexit deal in the Commons – due to take place just 24 hours later – would be delayed, amid fears of a crushing defeat led by as many as 300 rebel MPs. Just two days later, she survived a confidence vote against her leadership of the Conservative Party, coming through by 200 to 117 votes, but many Brexiteers including Jacob Rees-Mogg claimed the result was still “terrible”.
Theresa May then arrived in Brussels for a crunch EU summit on Thursday, hopeful of gaining reassurances over the troublesome Irish backstop, which has been central in the growing opposition towards her Brexit deal.
But it appears the rescue mission has failed, with both European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk insisting the Withdrawal Agreement will not be renegotiated.
This places yet more huge question marks over the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, increasing fears Britain will tumble out of the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement on March 29.
She is also facing renewed calls to bring the deal back to Parliament for it to be voted on, so with her position as the country’s leader coming under increasing scrutiny, who is tipped to replace her?
Theresa May is under huge pressure to remain as Prime Minister
Boris Johnson, a heavy critic of Mrs May ever since he quit as Foreign Secretary in July in opposition to her infamous Chequers plan for Brexit, is the 4/1 favourite with bookmaker William Hill.
Speculation has been rife the former Mayor of London has growing aspirations to be the next Prime Minister, but he continues to swerve questions on whether he would first challenge Mrs May for leadership of the Conservative Party.
Asked on Sunday to give an “absolute, categorical promise” he would no stand against the Prime Minister, Mr Johnson told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “I will give you an absolute, categorical promise that I will continue to advocate what I think is the most sensible plan.”
Dominic Raab, who dealt Mrs May a critical blow last month when he quit as Brexit Secretary, is joint favourite with Mr Johnson at Coral on odds of 5/1, and slightly higher at 6/1 with Paddy Power.
Boris Johnson is the bookies’ favourite to become the next Prime Minister
Since resigning from his short-lived role, his voice in opposition to Mrs May has been growing, and last week also refused to rule out his own bid for leadership of the Tory Party.
Following May’s victory in the confidence vote against her on Wednesday night, Mr Raab said: “We will have to back her as best we can but problem is that both in relation to Brexit and wider sustainability of the government given likelihood of any changes to the deal, given the likely scale of opposition, it looks very difficult to see how this PM can lead us forward.”
But Jeremy Corbyn, who has insisted Mrs May should step down as Prime Minister over her apparent failure on Brexit, pushing calls for a Labour Government to lead Britain, is not the favourite to replace her.
Although he is joint favourite with Mr Johnson on odds of 4/1 with William Hill, that lengthens to 6/1 with both Paddy Power and Coral.
Jeremy Corbyn has told Theresa May to ‘make way’
The Labour leader has launched several scathing attacks against Mrs May, the Government and proposed Brexit deal.
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s decision to delay the meaningful vote on her Brexit deal, Mr Corbyn raged: “If the Prime Minister cannot be clear that she can and will renegotiate a deal then she must make way.
“The Prime Minister is trying to buy herself one last chance to save this deal.
“If she doesn’t take on board the fundamental changes required then she must make way for those who can.”
Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group and arguably one of Mrs May’s biggest critics, has not been heavily backed by punters to become the next Prime Minister.
Jacob Rees-Mogg has arguably been one of Theresa May’s biggest critics
William Hill place him at odds of 16/1, but punters have not flocked to Coral to back the Eurosceptic, with odds lengthening to 20/1.
Elsewhere, Mrs May has odds of 6/1 to be replaced as Prime Minister as early as April – the month after Britain due to leave the European Union, while Betfair has odds of 4/6 for her to leave before Brexit.
A General Election could happen as early as next year, with odds as short as 5/4 at Paddy Power and 5/4 at Bet Victor.
The chances of a second EU referendum are also increasing – evens at both William Hill and Paddy Power.