The chances of a general election in 2020 are now higher than one in the rest of this year, according to the latest betting odds from Ladbrokes.
As Brexit talks go to the wire, the bookmaker said it was now the favourite that an election would not take place this side of Christmas, with odds of 8/11 that an election would take place in 2020.
That compares with 6/4 for an election being held in 2019.
Yesterday, civil service boss Mark Sedwill reportedly told Number 10 that an election after 12 December would be challenging because of festive requirements, such as concerts and parties.
Labour still appear no closer to backing an election, having so far rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s calls to go to the polls.
Yesterday a spokesman for the party told City A.M. that leader Jeremy Corbyn would seek an election “once no deal was taken off the table”.
But he could not confirm whether that meant after this Saturday’s deadline, as set out by the Benn Act, or after the nominal Brexit deadline of 31 October.
The spokesman also declined to comment on whether the stipulated extension, to 31 January, would pave the way to agree an election.
Most recent polls give the Conservatives a nine-point lead, with 33 per cent of votes against Labour’s 24 per cent. The Liberal Democrats are snapping at Corbyn’s heels, with 20 per cent of the vote, according to Britain Elects’ poll tracker.
Meanwhile, people are “feeling optimistic” about a deal before the Halloween deadline, Ladbrokes said, with the odds now at 7/2 that Boris Johnson will get a deal secured on time.